Facebook removes Trump post which downplayed COVID-19

Twitter leaves Trump's post up due to public interest but says it violated rules about spreading misleading information related to COVID-19.

Ben Ariel ,

Prseident Trump in Oval Office
Prseident Trump in Oval Office
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Facebook on Tuesday removed a post by US President Donald Trump which downplayed COVID-19 danger by saying the season flu is more deadly, AFP reports.

A day after being discharged from the Walter Reed Medical Center where he received treatment after testing positive for the virus, Trump posted messages on Twitter and Facebook in which he argued that people have more to fear from the flu.

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post," Facebook said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

Twitter added a notice to the tweeted version of the Trump post, saying the message was left up due to public interest but that it violated rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.

Twitter also added a link to COVID-19 information.

Facebook has in the past come under fire for refusing to censor the President, though in August it did remove a video post by Trump in which he contended that children are "almost immune" to the coronavirus, a claim the social network called "harmful COVID misinformation."

That was the first time the leading social network pulled a post from the President's page for being dangerously incorrect.

Facebook has largely held firm to a policy that it would not fact-check political leaders, but it has pledged to take down any post which could lead to violence or mislead people about the voting process.

Twitter, for its part, recently hid a tweet from Trump in which he threatened to use "serious force" against protesters in the US capital, saying it broke rules over abusive content.

Previously, it attached a warning to some of Trump’s tweets, prompting readers to fact-check the president’s claims.

In response, Trump signed an executive order aimed at increasing the ability of the government to regulate social media platforms.