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Twitter blocked Trump campaign’s tweets for sharing false COVID-19 claims

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  • Twitter briefly banned the Trump campaign’s account from tweeting Wednesday after it violated the company’s policies against COVID-19 misinformation, a spokesperson told Business Insider.
  • The campaign tweeted a video of Trump falsely claiming to Fox News that children are “almost immune” from the disease.
  • Trump also tweeted a link to the video, which has since been blocked, but the company did not take any action against the president’s account.
  • Facebook took down a similar post by Trump earlier in the day for violating its own COVID-19 misinformation policies, a first for the company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump campaign’s account from tweeting on Wednesday for posting a video of the president spreading COVID-19 misinformation, a spokesperson told Business Insider.

The campaign tweeted a video, which has since been removed, of Trump falsely claiming to Fox News that children are “almost immune” from the disease.

“The Tweet you referenced is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again,” the spokesperson said.

A growing body of research suggests that children can transmit COVID-19 like anyone else, though researchers believe their infection rates are often underreported because they are frequently asymptomatic and have been largely excluded from clinical trials.

“Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction,” Courtney Parella, the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary, said in a statement. “Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.”

President Trump also posted his own tweet linking to the campaign’s tweet containing the video, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times.

However, Twitter said that it would not take any action against the president’s account, only the campaign.

“Our enforcement action is specific to Tweets, not accounts that may have amplified it. The video was posted by @TeamTrump and shared via @realDonaldTrump, which is why we’re taking action on that account specifically,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.

Screen Shot 2020 08 05 at 11.52.24 AM

Trump tweeted a link to a video of him making false claims about COVID-19.

Screenshot/Twitter


Facebook took down a similar post from Trump earlier on Wednesday for violating its own policies against “harmful COVID misinformation,” the first time the social media giant has completely removed a post by Trump for spreading false information about the virus.

Pressure has mounted on social media companies recently to take stronger steps to address the spread of misinformation on their platforms, particularly around the coronavirus pandemic, hate speech, and elections. Earlier this year, Twitter applied a fact-check label to Trump’s tweets falsely claiming mail-in voting causes widespread election fraud.

Meanwhile, Trump has become increasingly enraged at social media platforms, particularly Twitter. In recent months, Trump has suggested that Twitter’s trending topics are ‘illegal’ because they make him look bad and singled out the company in a legally dubious executive order that seeks to crack down on platforms’ authority to moderate content on their platforms.

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