Facebook, Twitter Take Down Video of Trump Saying Children 'Almost Immune' From Covid-19
By Deepa Seetharaman
Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. on Wednesday removed a video
posted by President Trump in which he said children are "almost
immune from this disease," a claim that the companies said ran
afoul their rules against harmful misinformation about
The video clip -- a portion of an interview aired on Fox News --
attracted roughly 450,000 views on Facebook before it was taken
down, according to CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned analytics company.
It also drew thousands of comments and was reshared nearly 2,000
The action marked the first time that Facebook removed Mr.
Trump's posts for violating its coronavirus misinformation rules, a
Facebook spokesman said. "This video includes false claims that a
group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our
policies around harmful COVID misinformation," the spokesman
The same video was also shared by the Trump campaign's account
on Twitter and then reshared by Mr. Trump. Wednesday evening,
Twitter said it removed the video for violating its rules against
coronavirus misinformation and that the @TeamTrump account would
have to remove the post before it could tweet again.
The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for
While complications and deaths from Covid-19 are relatively rare
among young people, children aren't immune from the virus. Older
students, largely teens, are believed to be at greater risk than
Facebook has removed a handful of other posts by Mr. Trump, but
the company has largely taken a hands-off approach to the
president's messages as part of policies set by Chief Executive
Mark Zuckerberg not to interfere with political speech. He has
separately been critical of the U.S. government's handling of the
In June, Facebook removed posts and ads from the Trump campaign
that showed an inverted red triangle once used by the Nazis to tag
Those posts violated Facebook's rules against hate, the company
said at the time. The Trump campaign responded by saying the sign
was used by antifa, a loosely organized activist movement, short
for "antifascist," but some experts say the inverted red triangle
hasn't been widely adopted by the movement.
Around that time, Facebook and Twitter removed another Trump
video showing a black toddler running away from a white toddler
with a fake CNN headline stating "Terrified Toddler Runs From
Racist Baby." The video then falsely claimed that CNN manufactured
the story. In reality, the news network presented the video as a
lighthearted tale of friendship.
Both companies removed the post after receiving copyright
complaints from one of the children's parents.
Write to Deepa Seetharaman at Deepa.Seetharaman@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 05, 2020 20:57 ET (00:57 GMT)
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