Twitter is locking journalists out for debunking Trump’s coronavirus claim

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie President Donald Trump

Alex Brandon AP President Donald Trump

On Wednesday, Twitter and Facebook both penalised Trump for sharing the same clip. Trump claimed in the video that children are being nearly immune to the virus.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president's post was removed for violating the social media platform's 'policies around harmful COVID misinformation'.

With coronavirus cases in the United States rising and states struggling to combat the outbreak, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday mandating that the government buy what he called "essential drugs" from USA manufacturers instead of foreign companies.

Facebook and Twitter removed a video shared by U.S. president Donald Trump, in which he wrongly claimed that children are "almost immune" to Covid-19.

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This was not the first time Twitter took action on a Trump post.

It's somewhat surprising that Facebook chose to delete Trump's post, as Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg has always been an avid proponent of free speech - even if that means allowing people to spread misinformation.

Mr Trump posted the same video to his account on Facebook, which removed the clip shortly before Twitter froze the campaign's account. Links to the tweet now point Twitter users to a message that the tweet violated Twitter's rules and is no longer available.

A tweet from Trump with the same video remained up on Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Twitter, meanwhile, has flagged several of Trump's posts in recent months.

"The people behind this network used fake accounts - some of which had already been detected and disabled by our automated systems - to pose as Americans, amplify and comment on their own content, and manage Pages including some posing as President Trump fan Pages", the document concluded. "Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth", said Courtney Parella, a spokeswoman with the campaign. "They just don't have a problem", Trump told Fox & Friends.

The moves come amid concerns over campaigns by governments aimed at influencing elections and public sentiment in other countries through media outlets that disguise their true origins. "They may also have their ability to monetize and advertise removed, and their ability to register as a news Page removed".

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The company has refused, however, to apply that standard to Donald Trump, despite his frequent habit of posting tweets that violate this and other terms of service.

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While it is generally accepted among medical experts that children are less likely to experience severe Covid-19 symptoms, they are still at risk of contracting it and a number of young patients have succumbed to the illness, some with preexisting and co-morbid conditions.

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