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Facebook has deleted a post by Donald Trump in which he claimed children were “almost immune to coronavirus”, saying it violated its policy against spreading misinformation about Covid-19.
It is the first time Facebook has taken steps to remove content posted from Trump’s account, following intensifying criticism over the social media’s perceived inaction over hate speech and misinformation.
Facebook said 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”.
Later on Wednesday, Twitter announced it had also blocked Trump’s presidential campaign account, Team Trump, from tweeting unless it took down a post containing the same claim.
Until it was removed, the post was hidden per Twitter’s enforcement rules. The Trump campaign did not clarify whether it removed the tweet, but did later appear to be tweeting again from the account.
A Twitter spokesperson told HuffPost the tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on Covid-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”
The post in question featured a clip from a Fox News interview with the president, during which he claimed that children are “almost immune” to the virus.
In the interview, he was pushing for schools to reopen nationwide. He said: “If you look at children, children are almost ― and I would almost say definitely ― almost immune from this disease.”
Children are less likely to become severely ill from the virus, but they can be infected and fall sick – as well as transmit the virus to others.
A large study conducted in Washington DC and published in the journal Pediatrics also found worrying disparities in how the disease affected different groups of children – with Black and Latinx, as well as those from lower-income households, more likely to contract the virus.
Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella told HuffPost in a statement: “Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth. The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.