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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pull Trump posts over virus misinformation

Facebook on Wednesday took down a post by US President Donald Trump, which the company said violated its rules against sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.

The post contained a video clip from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day in which Mr Trump claimed that children are "almost immune" to Covid-19.

"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," a Facebook spokesman said.

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. YouTube, through a spokesman, said it had also pulled down the video for violating its Covid-19 misinformation policies.

However, the original interview remains available on the Fox News page on the platform. The Trump campaign accused the companies of bias against the president, saying Mr Trump had stated a fact.

"Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth," said Ms Courtney Parella, a spokesman with the campaign.

The Centres 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.

REPEATED CLAIM

An analysis by the World Health Organisation of six million infections between Feb 24 and July 12 found that the share of children aged 5-14 years was about 4.6 per cent.

At a White House briefing, Mr Trump repeated his claim.

"Children handle it very well," he said. "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."

It was the first time Facebook had removed a Trump post for coronavirus misinformation, the company's spokesman said. - REUTERS

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