Facebook and Twitter have removed a post by U.S. President Donald Trump, which both companies said violated its rules against sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.
A tweet containing the video that was posted by the Trump campaign’s @TeamTrump account and shared by the president was also later hidden by Twitter for breaking its COVID-19 misinformation rules.
A Twitter spokesman said the @TeamTrump account owner would be required to remove the tweet before they could tweet again.
The Trump campaign accused the companies of bias against the president, saying Trump had stated a fact. “Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth,” said Courtney Parella, a spokeswoman with the campaign.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that while adults make up most of the known COVID-19 cases to date, some children and infants have been sick with the disease and they can also transmit it to others.
An analysis by the World Health Organization of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of children aged 5-14 years was about 4.6%.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. During a briefing at the White House, Trump repeated his claim that the virus had little impact on children.
“Children handle it very well,” he told reporters. “If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatalities … for children under a certain age … their immune systems are very very strong and very powerful. They seem to be able to handle it very well and that’s according to every statistical claim.”
Twitter has taken down a post retweeted by Trump pointing to a misleading viral video about the coronavirus, but left up clips of the president suggesting scientists should investigate using light or disinfectant on patients.
Twitter said those remarks expressed a wish for treatment, rather than a literal call for action.
It also left up a March post from Tesla’s outspoken CEO Elon Musk stating that “kids are essentially immune” from the virus.
The company has previously removed ads from Trump’s election campaign for breaking misinformation rules, in that case around a national census.
It also took down both Trump posts and campaign ads that showed a red inverted triangle, a symbol the Nazis used to identify political prisoners, for violating its policy against organized hate.