Twitter says Trump campaign posts blocked over false virus claim

Source: AFP Published: 2020/8/6 16:53:42

US President Donald Trump wears a mask as he tours a lab where they are making components for a potential vaccine at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, North Carolina on Monday. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, infection cases in the US surpassed 4.29 million and the death toll reached 148,295 as of press time on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Twitter on Wednesday said it had temporarily blocked US President Donald Trump's official campaign account from tweeting due to a post containing misinformation about COVID-19.

At issue in the post by the @TeamTrump account was a claim by the US president that children are "almost immune" to the novel coronavirus.

The tweet "is in violation of the Twitter rules on COVID-19 misinformation," a spokesperson for Twitter told AFP.

"The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again."

A video of Trump making the claim during a Fox News interview was earlier removed from Facebook in the first action aimed at the president's page by the leading social network.

The @TeamTrump account was posting again shortly after Twitter's announcement, and the contested video clip appeared to have been removed.

"Silicon Valley is hopelessly biased against the president and only enforces the rules in one direction," the campaign's director of communications Tim Murtaugh wrote, in reaction to the temporary ban that was retweeted by @TeamTrump.

How likely children are to contract or spread the coronavirus has become a deeply contentious issue in the US, with schools reopening essential to enable many parents to go back to work.

Trump has been calling for both businesses and schools to reopen as part of a push to revive the US economy, whose health will play a major factor in the coming presidential election.

But a growing number of US school districts have opted against reopening classrooms come September, opting to remain online-only until the pandemic has abated.



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