Facebook, citing virus misinformation, deletes Trump post

Facebook
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press

Facebook has deleted a post by President Donald Trump for the first time, saying it violated its policy against spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

The post in question featured a link to a Fox News video in which Trump says children are “virtually immune” to the virus.

Facebook said Wednesday that the “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 tweet from Trump with the same video remained up on Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon. That’s even though Twitter has been quicker than Facebook in recent months in labeling posts from the president that violate its policies against misinformation and abuse. Twitter did not have an immediate comment.

This is the first time that Facebook has removed a post from Trump entirely, rather than labeling it, as it has done in the past.

Several studies suggest, but don’t prove, that children are less likely to become infected than adults and more likely to have only mild symptoms. But this is not the same as being “virtually immune” to the virus.

A CDC study involving 2,500 children published in April found that about 1 in 5 infected children were hospitalized versus 1 in 3 adults; three children died. The study lacks complete data on all the cases, but it also suggests that many infected children have no symptoms, which could allow them to spread the virus to others.

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Associated Press Writer Amanda Seitz contributed to this story.

©The Associated Press 2020

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