Facebook takes the rare step of removing a Trump interview over coronavirus misinformation

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Andrew Harnik | Pool | Reuters

Facebook on Wednesday removed a a video interview posted on the account of President Donald Trump in which he said that children are “almost immune” from Covid-19.

The video segment segment comes from an interview with Fox News in which he advocates that schools should open, saying that in his view children are “almost definitely” immune from the coronavirus. 

A link to the post tells users “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”

“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 told NBC News

The removal is one of the few times Facebook has taken steps to moderate content posted by Trump.

It comes after criticism from Facebook employees, civil rights groups and advertisers after the company chose not to take action on a post by Trump in which he said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referring to Black Lives Matter protests. Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout in protest, claiming the post violated the company’s community standards by inciting serious violence. Some advertisers are still boycotting the company, although it appears to have had little effect on Facebook’s business.

The move also comes the week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questioning from Republican members of Congress on the House Antitrust Subcommittee over whether Facebook systematically suppresses conservative viewpoints. 

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