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Two of the world’s largest social media networks, Facebook and Twitter, both took action against President Donald Trump on Wednesday because of an interview he’d participated in that aired earlier that morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
During the interview, the president argued that children should be permitted to return to school because they’re “almost immune” or “virtually immune” to the coronavirus.
Teachers’ unions and other far-left organizations have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent children from returning to school amid the pandemic, spurring critics like the president (and others) into calling for more “practical” solutions.
Later Wednesday afternoon and evening, the president shared the interview on his personal Facebook page, while his campaign similarly shared the interview on its Twitter page. In response, both Facebook and Twitter pounced.
According to reports, Facebook outright deleted the president’s post.
“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,” an FB spokesperson reportedly said in a statement to the media.
Looks like Facebook just removed a Trump post…
“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,” Facebook spokesperson says.
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) August 5, 2020
Over on Twitter, the situation was a bit more complicated.
An initial report from The Washington Post claimed Twitter had suspended the president’s personal account for retweeting a video of the interview:
BREAKING: Twitter has banned President Trump from tweeting until he deletes a tweet about coronavirus the site says violates “rules against misinformation,” according to the @WashingtonPost. pic.twitter.com/tyJQ27hM95
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 6, 2020
However, that was fake news … again.
NPR confirmed that Trump’s retweet was simply hidden, while the “Team Trump” campaign account that originally posted the tweet was suspended.
“Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease,'” the outlet reported.
“The @TeamTrump Tweet you referenced 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,” Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy reportedly said.
As of Thursday morning, the “Team Trump” account was active again and busy retweeting posts such as these:
A) Twitter suspended @TeamTrump for a clip of the President talking (accurately) about children’s reduced susceptibility to coronavirus amid school reopening.
B) The guy who announced Twitter’s decision used to get paid as a Kamala Harris spokesman. https://t.co/Ury9JgT0ti
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) August 6, 2020
The Twitter employee who announced to the world why the @TeamTrump account was briefly suspended is also Kamala Harris’s former press secretary.
Silicon Valley is hopelessly biased against the President and only enforces the rules in one direction.
— Tim Murtaugh – Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) August 6, 2020
The claims above about Kamala Harris were based on this announcement from Twitter senior communications manager Nick Pacilio:
— Nick Pacilio (@NickPacilio) August 5, 2020
Pacilio’s LinkedIn page shows that he worked as a press secretary for then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris from 2011 up til 2014:
Facebook and Twitter’s joint “attack” on the president has raised concerns about the power the networks wield and the negative influence they could have — and appear to already be having — on the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
Twitter temporarily banned the Trump campaign account.
Isn’t it actually worse that a leading social media platform censored the campaign account of a sitting President running for re-election over the subjective concept of “misinformation”?
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 6, 2020
They’re still acting as a publisher and need to be regulated.
— Jenny (@Jenny_IDLYITW) August 6, 2020
Election interference. Easily proven at this point too.
— Rokito of kek (@sangrokito) August 6, 2020
I’d call this textbook election meddling.
— Patriot Covfefe (@zoochum) August 6, 2020
Misinformation is nothing more than a politically correct term used solely by the left to say, “Our view differs from your OPINION so now we have to silence you.” A total abuse of power by @jack . Nothing about censorship is moral. Taken straight out of China’s playbook.
— John Riley (@johnrileymc6) August 6, 2020
There have also been gripes over the indisputable double standards at work.
Misinformation as deemed by whom? Who is this authority? I’m not saying it’s not misinformation. I’m just saying there are no longer any trusted authorities. They sold their soul for anti racism street cred
— the mouth of truth (@bocchelVerita) August 6, 2020
Particularly egregious when one recognizes that Fauci, the CDC and all of the other so-called “experts” and pols who have inundated us with contradictions, misleading data and the like, are still live.
— #Placebocracy (@MarkJHartwig1) August 6, 2020
– ‘Antifa has done nothing wrong in Portland’
– ‘Antifa is peaceful’,
– ‘BLM hasn’t burn any building’
-‘HCQ makes no difference’
Now those are textbook misinformation
— 🇺🇸 Santo Fiardina 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@santo_fiardina) August 6, 2020
This debacle comes roughly five months after Dr. Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, again warned of the outsize influence tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google could have on the upcoming election.
New: #Facebook has been removing #Trump campaign ads from its platform. I’m not a Trump supporter, but I’m deeply concerned about #censorship of this sort. Whether u know it or not, #Google-&-the-Gang will decide who our next president will be. #BeAfraidhttps://t.co/TRoCJeADac
— Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) March 5, 2020