Twitter has temporarily banned the Twitter account for President Donald Trump's campaign on Wednesday. The decision was based on the video the "Team Trump" account posted, which included clips from an interview where he made false claims about children and coronavirus. Specifically, stating that they are "virtually immune" to the virus.
A spokesperson for Twitter told CNN that the tweet was "in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation." There was also the stipulation that "the account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again." However, since the video was removed, the platform confirmed that the campaign's account had regained standard functionality. The decision comes just hours after Facebook removed the same clip from its platform, also citing misinformation about the pandemic.
Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, also issued a statement on Wednesday, which mostly resembled the one made by Twitter. "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," citing Trump's false claims about children being "virtually immune" to the virus.
Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella both defended the president's claim, despite it being provably false, as well as attacking Silicon Valley in general. Parella said that Trump was "stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus" and accused social media on a whole of being biased against Trump, adding that they "are not the arbiters of truth."
This clash marks the second time that Twitter has removed a post about coronavirus that was in Trump's orbit. Back in July, the micro-blogging platform removed a post the president retweeted that also made numerous false coronavirus claims. This video came from Dr. Stella Immanual, who argued that "COVID has a cure," and added, "America, wake up." It featured Immanuel promoting several wildly politicized conspiracy theories, including Trump's oft-touted hydroxychloroquine, which he has repeatedly insisted could cure the virus. Despite refutal from numerous health experts, including those in his own administration. The same clip has since been pulled by both Facebook and YouTube as well.
Donald Trump, Jr. also had his Twitter account put into a 12-hour lockout for posting falsehoods about the pandemic on July 28. Like the Trump campaign, the president's son has since regained access to the platform.