Facebook deleting Trump's false Covid claims is "an anomaly"

7 October 2020, 15:43

By Fiona Jones

After Facebook deleted President Trump's post that claimed Covid is "less lethal" than the flu, tech expert Mike Isaac said this was very much an "anomaly" and would not become the norm.

Social media giants Twitter and Facebook have censored Donald Trump widely discredited claims that Covid is "less lethal" than the flu.

Facebook deleted the President's claim yesterday which led to accusations the platform was becoming politically involved.

New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac said that the social media firms normally come under fire for "going out of their way to not take down the President's Tweets and posts.

"Some would argue he's gone much further with potential incitements of violence or the potential to not get folks out and vote in the upcoming election.

Twitter also hid the President's claims about coronavirus
Twitter also hid the President's claims about coronavirus. Picture: Twitter

"The only thing they've really drawn a line around is misinformation around Covid...so it also makes this an anomaly in how they normally police the President's posts," Mr Isaac said.

Mr Isaac reflected that if the Mark Zuckerberg types of the world had their way then nothing would be censored, especially as the Facebook founder was recently "espousing free speech."

"I do think the line in the sand for him has been: can this lead to direct physical harm for people? And it is making false claims about the virus the closest thing they can say to being actually harmful to people," Mr Isaac said.

He told Ian that generally Facebook continues to say they are cracking down on who can use their data after the Cambridge Analytica data leak - but there are no assurances.