Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter took action on posts from US President Donald Trump for violating their rules against coronavirus misinformation. Facebook and Twitter took action after Trump had claimed Covid-19 was "less lethal" than the flu.
According to a report by Reuters, Facebook took the post down but not before it was shared about 26,000 times, data from the company's metric tool CrowdTangle showed. "We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19," a company spokesman told Reuters.
Trump wrote the US had "learned to live with" flu season, "just like we are learning to live with COVID, in most populations far less lethal!!!" Twitter hid the same message behind a warning about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information", the BBC reported on Tuesday.
Trump is at the White House after three days of hospital treatment having tested positive for the virus. The President has reacted by posting: "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" This is a reference to a law that says social networks are not responsible for the content posted by their users. But it allows the firms to engage in "good-Samaritan blocking", including the removal of content they judge to be offensive, harassment or violent.
"Silicon Valley and the mainstream media have consistently used their platforms to fearmonger and censor President Trump to serve their own agenda, even now during this critical moment in the fight against coronavirus," Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella told Reuters.