Facebook and Twitter take action over Trump’s misleading COVID-19 posts

Platform Industry: President Trump, Social Media, Section 230 and Fake News

Social networking titans Facebook and Twitter took action on posts out of US President Trump for violating their rules against coronavirus misinformation by indicating that COVID-19 was just like the flu.

Facebook took the post down but not until it had been shared about 26,000 occasions, data in the company’s metric instrument CrowdTangle showed.

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19,” a company spokesman told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.

The world’s biggest social media business, that exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, has taken action against posts from the Republican president.

Twitter handicapped retweets on an identical tweet from Trump on Tuesday and added a warning label that stated it broke its rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19” but that it may be in the public interest for it to stay available.

Throughout the 2019-2020 influenza season, the influenza was correlated with 22,000 deaths in the United States, according to estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the first instance of the novel coronavirus was recorded in the US in the start of this calendar year, more than 210,000 people in the country have died of this disease caused by the virus, the world’s greatest death toll.

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On Monday, a rejuvenated President Trump told Americans “to get out there” rather than fear COVID-19 because he returned into the White House following a three-night stay in a military hospital outside Washington where he was treated for COVID-19.

Twitter, that has been using labels to flag tweets with misinformation – like from the president – told journalists at Reuters that it is currently trying to respond more quickly and more overtly.

Facebook eliminated a Trump article for coronavirus misinformation for the very first time in August. The article included a video in which the president claimed that children were “almost immune” to COVID-19.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Facebook and Twitter take action over Trump’s misleading COVID-19 posts‘ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England, Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru. Editing by Bernard Orr, Sonya Hepinstall and Paul Simao.

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