Twitter Locked Trump Campaign Account Over False COVID-19 Claims
According to The Hill, Twitter locked the Trump campaign’s account on Wednesday over a clip of President Trump claiming that children are “almost immune” to the coronavirus, saying the account would be unlocked only if it deleted the tweet.
- The problematic clip was from Trump’s interview on Fox & Friends, and the same excerpt had been removed from Facebook earlier in the day, per the report.
- Twitter spokesperson Liz Kelley told the Washington Post that the tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation,” adding: “The account owner will be required to remove the tweet before they can tweet again.”
- Courtney Barella, the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary, told The Hill in a statement:
"The Twitter employee who explained why our account was suspended is also [Sen.] Kamala Harris’s [D-Calif.] former press secretary. Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth. The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus."
- CNN reported on Thursday that the campaign's "account appeared to have the ability to tweet following Twitter's statement, suggesting the campaign had complied with the order and removed the video. Twitter confirmed to CNN that the campaign's account can tweet again."
- The Hill noted that Twitter’s move “comes after several incidents in recent months in which it penalized the president’s personal account,” while also noting that Facebook had never removed a post by the president prior to Wednesday.
“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,” said Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone.