Roommates, just as quickly as Trump posted nonchalantly about the comparison between COVID-19 and the flu, his post has been officially removed by Facebook. Following his recent release from the hospital after reportedly being diagnosed with COVID-19, Trump posted that the deadly virus is no different than the seasonal flu.
@NBCNews reports, Facebook decided to remove a post from Trump that downplayed the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic and Twitter also restricted a similar tweet from him, leaving it online but placing it behind a note explaining that the tweet violated the company’s rules about spreading misleading information. Trump’s social media posts are in direct contrast to what medical experts have repeatedly stated is unfounded and potentially dangerous because it may cause people not to take the virus seriously.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed that the social media platform removed Trump’s post for violating its rules. “We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post,” Stone said. Additionally, Facebook’s official rules prohibit posts that have “the potential to contribute to real-world harm” including through “misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm.” That also includes pandemic-related harm.
Twitter’s rules also restrict or prohibit “potentially misleading information” about COVID-19. Twitter spokesperson Adrian Zamora confirmed the company placed a “public interest notice” on Trump’s tweet for “making misleading health claims about COVID-19.” Engagements with the tweet would also be “significantly limited,” Zamora confirmed.
In true Trump fashion, after his post was removed he tweeted that Congress should repeal part of a 1996 law, known as Section 230, which gives internet companies immunity from certain lawsuits. The law has become a target for conservative politicians who have argued that the companies have a liberal bias.
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