Facebook, Twitter Take Actions against Trump’s Disingenuous COVID-19 Post

On Tuesday, Facebook Inc and Twitter took action on posts from the U.S. President Donald Trump for breaching their rules against coronavirus misinformation by alleging that COVID-19 was similar to the flu.

Misleading Information

Facebook took the post down; however, not before it was shared about 26,000 times, according to data from the company’s metric tool, CrowdTangle.

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19,” according to a company spokesman.

The world’s biggest social media company, which excuses politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, has seldom taken action against posts from the Republican U.S. president.

On Tuesday, Twitter also disabled retweets on a similar tweet from Trump and added a warning label that stated it broke its rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19” however; it might be in the public interest for it to remain accessible.

During the influenza season of 2019-2020, the flu led to 22,000 deaths in the United States, according to approximations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was registered in the United States at the start of this year, more than 210,000 people in the country have lost their lives of the disease caused by the virus, which is the world’s highest death toll.

Flagging the Tweets

On Monday, Trump told Americans “to get out there” and not fear COVID-19. He got back to the White House after a three-night stay in a military hospital. The hospital is situated outside Washington where he got the treatment for COVID-19.

“Silicon Valley and the mainstream media have consistently used their platforms to fear monger and censor President Trump to serve their own agenda, even now during this critical moment in the fight against coronavirus,” according to Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella.

Twitter, has been utilizing labels to flag tweets that are misleading and filled with misinformation. This included a tweet from the president. Twitter claimed that it is currently trying to respond more quickly and more overtly.

Facebook removed a Trump post for coronavirus misinformation for the first time in August. The post consisted of a video in which the president falsely claimed that children were “almost immune” to COVID-19.