Both Facebook and Twitter censored a post from President Trump on Tuesday comparing the seasonal flu to COVID-19.
“Flu season is coming up!” started the president’s post, which was shared to both social media sites. “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!!!”
Facebook took the post down, while Twitter added a warning label to the post, saying it violated the company’s rule against “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
A Twitter rep, in response to TheWrap, said: “We placed a public interest notice on the Tweet you referenced for violating our COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy by making misleading health claims about COVID-19. As is standard with this public interest notice, engagements with the Tweet will be significantly limited.”
Out of 7.4 million cases in the U.S., The coronavirus has killed about 210,000 Americans this year, according to the CDC. For comparison, the CDC’s website estimates 24,000 to 62,000 have died during the most recent flu season, out of 39 million to 56 million people who were sick from it. Recently, Facebook and Twitter have said they’ll take a more proactive approach to removing COVID-19 misinformation.
President Trump’s posts came less than a day after he returned to the White House after being treated for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Soon after returning, the president shared a video on Twitter, saying “maybe I’m immune [to COVID-19], I don’t know.”
Twitter and Facebook have increasingly looked to moderate President Trump’s accounts in recent months. In May, Twitter started adding warning labels to some of the president’s tweets — a move that drew his ire. In response, the president signed an executive order calling on the FCC to review Section 230, which is the legal shield that allows tech companies like Twitter and Facebook to moderate content without being sued. You can read more about it by clicking here.
On Tuesday, after the companies took action against the president’s post on COVID-19 and the flu, President Trump tweeted “REPEAL SECTION 230!!!”
REPEAL SECTION 230!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020