Report: Twitter bans Trump campaign from tweeting over COVID misinformation

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House July 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Earlier in the day Trump suggested in a tweet that November’s general election should be postponed, citing his unsubstantiated assertions of widespread mail-in voter fraud amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Twitter temporarily disabled the account of President Trump’s campaign Wednesday over a post containing misinformation about the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The post in question showed a clip of Trump claiming during a Fox News interview that children are “almost immune” from COVID-19.

A spokeswoman with Twitter, Liz Kelley, told the paper that Twitter hid Team Trump’s video and that @teamtrump wouldn’t be allowed to tweet until it was deleted. After almost 12 hours without any activity, Team Trump tweeted again shortly after 9 p.m. EST.

Facebook deleted the same post from President Trump’s page earlier in the day, saying Wednesday that the “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.”

Twitter has been quicker than Facebook in recent months in labeling posts from the president that violate its policies against misinformation and abuse.

This was the first time that Facebook has removed a post from Trump entirely, rather than labeling it, as it has done in the past.

Several studies suggest, but don’t prove, that children are less likely to become infected than adults and more likely to have only mild symptoms. But this is not the same as being “virtually immune” to the virus.

A CDC study involving 2,500 children published in April found that about 1 in 5 infected children were hospitalized versus 1 in 3 adults; three children died. The study lacks complete data on all the cases, but it also suggests that many infected children have no symptoms, which could allow them to spread the virus to others.

Correction: An earlier version of the Washington Post report stated that Twitter had disabled President Trump’s personal account, not his campaign’s account.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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