Facebook and Twitter Censor President Trump for “False Claims” About Coronavirus
Written by James Murphy
The Thought Police at Facebook snagged a high-profile “perpetrator” on Wednesday as the social media giant censored President Donald Trump over a post that contained a video that the company said contained “false claims” about COVID-19. The president had shared a Fox News video in which he argued for the reopening of schools and said that children are “almost immune” to the virus.
Twitter, with which the president has had a long-standing feud, also acted by banning the Trump campaign’s account until the offending video was removed. On Wednesday evening, the campaign apparently removed the video, as it was able to post again.
A statement shared to Fox News by Facebook Communications Director for Strategic Response Liz Bourgeois claimed: “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.”
The Trump campaign’s tweet was “in violation of the Twitter rules on COVID-19 misinformation,” Twitter spokesperson Liz Kelley told the Washington Post.
The president’s words don’t seem all that controversial. Echoing the belief of many physicians, Trump lobbied for schools to be open due to the belief that children have “much stronger immune systems” and, generally, “just don’t have a problem” with the virus.
“My view is that schools should be open,” the president said. “If you look at children, children are almost — and I would say definitely — but almost immune from this disease.”
Trump continued, “Some doctors say they’re totally immune. I don’t know, I hate to use the word totally because the news will say, ‘Oh, he made the word totally and he shouldn’t have used that word.’ But the fact is that [children] are virtually immune from this problem, and we have to open our schools.”
The video was up for approximately four hours, garnering almost half a million views prior to being removed according to CrowdTangle, a tool that analyzes social media interaction, which is owned by Facebook.
Deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella fired back at Facebook and Twitter, saying that the incident was just another example of Big Tech overreach in favor of the left side of the political spectrum: “The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the cornoavirus. 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.”
Parella also claimed, “The Twitter employee who announced why the account was briefly suspended is also Kamala Harris’s former press secretary. Silicon Valley is hopelessly biased against the President.” Parella was referring to Nick Pacilio, who was indeed the former press secretary for Harris — a possible Joe Biden pick for his vice-presidential running mate.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims to agree that his company is not an “arbiter of truth.” In May, Zuckerberg told Fox News, “I just strongly believe that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say on line…. Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially those platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
So, what exactly is the truth? According to the National Academies of Medicine, “Compared with adults, children who contract COVID-19 are much more likely to experience asymptomatic infection or mild upper respiratory symptoms.” They also report that over 90 percent of children who test positive for the virus will have mild or no symptoms. While that’s not quite “virtually immune” as the president suggested, it does support Trump’s assertion that schools could be opened without much of an increased risk to children.
Any claim of left-wing bias on Facebook’s behalf is buoyed by the fact that Bourgeois — who shared Facebook’s statement on the deletion to Fox News — is a former employee of the Democratic National Committee and has worked with former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It’s also confirmed by Twitter’s Pacilio, who once worked closely with Democrat VP wannabe Kamala Harris, is now a Twitter official in their communications department.
The Democrats and Silicon Valley enjoy a deeply incestuous relationship. Silicon Valley is not only biased in favor of the Democrats. In many cases, they literally are the Democrats.
James Murphy is a freelance journalist who writes on a variety of subjects. He can be reached at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American