Facebook, Twitter and YouTube last week took down social media posts by U.S. President Donald Trump which violated rules against sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.
Facebook took down a post containing a video clip, from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day, in which Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.
“This 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 Facebook spokesman said.
A Tweet containing the video that was posted by the Trump campaign’s @TeamTrump account and shared by the president was also later hidden by Twitter Inc TWTR.R for breaking its COVID-19 misinformation rules.
A Twitter spokesman said the @TeamTrump account owner would be required to remove the tweet before they could tweet again.
YouTube, through a spokesman, said it had also pulled down the video for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policies. However, the original interview remains available on the Fox News page on the platform. YouTube did not immediately respond to requests to clarify which videos were taken down.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. During a briefing at the White House, Trump repeated his claim that the virus had little impact on children.
The Trump campaign accused the companies of bias against the president, saying Trump had stated a fact. “Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth,” said Courtney Parella, a spokeswoman with the campaign.
An analysis by the World Health Organization of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of children aged 5-14 years was about 4.6 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that while adults make up most of the known COVID-19 cases to date, some children and infants have been sick with the disease and they can also transmit it to others.
Video provided by Reuters.