Facebook, citing virus misinformation, deletes Trump post

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Facebook, citing virus misinformation, deletes Trump post

Thursday, August 06, 2020

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CALIFORNIA, United States (AP) — Facebook has deleted a post by President Donald Trump for the first time, saying the post violated its policy against spreading misinformation about the novel coronavirus.

The post in question featured a link to a Fox News video in which Trump says children are “virtually immune” to the novel coronavirus.

Facebook said Wednesday that the “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”.

A tweet from Trump with the same video remained up on Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon. That's even though Twitter has been quicker than Facebook in recent months to label posts from the president that violate its policies against misinformation and abuse. Twitter did not have an immediate comment.

This is the first time that Facebook has removed a post from Trump entirely, rather than labelling it, as it had done in the past.

Several studies suggest, but don't prove, that children are less likely than adults to become infected and more likely to have only mild symptoms. But this is not the same as being “virtually immune” to the virus.

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, involving 2,500 children, published in April, found that about one in five infected children were hospitalised versus one in three adults. The study lacks complete data on all the cases, but it also suggests that many infected children have no symptoms, which could allow them to spread the virus to others.


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