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Facebook Censors Trump's Post About Severity of COVID

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Social media giants struck with a vengeance Tuesday after coronavirus survivor President Donald Trump issued posts that equated COVID-19 with the flu.

Trump tested positive for the coronavirus last week and was hospitalized on Friday. He returned to the White House Monday night.

“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

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On Twitter, a warning label was attached to his tweet for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.” Twitter allowed the post to remain up but restricted access to the comment section.

A similar post from the president was quickly taken down by Facebook. Spokesperson Andy Stone told NBC News the post violated the social media giant’s rules.

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post,” Stone said.

Johns Hopkins recently published a comparison between the flu and the coronavirus.

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In writing about the coronavirus, it said, “Approximately 35,527,480, cases have been confirmed worldwide. There have been 7,459,102 cases in the U.S. between January 2020 and October 6, 2020.”

“The World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people worldwide get the flu every year,” it stated.

“In the U.S., for Oct. 1, 2019–Apr. 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there were 39 million to 56 million cases of flu,” it stated, noting that the figure is an estimate because local health agencies are not required to report flu cases.

Facebook has given itself the right to take down posts it believes have “the potential to contribute to real-world harm” including through “misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm.” That includes pandemic-related harm.

Twitter also has rules banning “potentially misleading information” about COVID-19, but also has a policy of allowing rule-breaking tweets to remain if Twitter believes that it is in the public interest to allow everyone to see what an official has said.

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Twitter spokesperson Adrian Zamora said the “public interest notice” was put on Trump’s tweet for “making misleading health claims about COVID-19.”

Others, however, have posted that the fatality rate for COVID may emerge to be comparable to that of the flu.

Trump later issued a tweet saying, “REPEAL SECTION 230!!!”

Section 230 is a commonly used term for legislation passed in 1996 that allows tech companies immunity for certain content decisions that they make.

In August, Facebook deleted a video posted by Trump in which he said children were “virtually immune” to the coronavirus.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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