Twitter suspends Jr. Trump’s account for COVID-19 misinformation

The tech giant said the tweets violated its "COVID-19 misinformation policy."

ABC News

29th July, 2020 12:48:14 printer

Twitter suspends Jr. Trump’s account for COVID-19 misinformation

Twitter has temporarily limited the account belonging to Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump's eldest child, for 12 hours after he posted content that violated the company's policies on misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Twitter spokesperson says the tweet with video Trump Jr. directly shared -- dismissing masks and lockdowns and promoting hydroxychloroquine -- violated its "COVID-19 misinformation policy." President Trump separately retweeted the video.

The move comes amid growing tensions between the platform and the president.

The spokesperson, who requested anonymity, said in a statement: "Tweets with the video are in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy. We are taking action in line with our policy," and linked to a blog post with its policy.

The spokesperson added: "We are continuing to take action on new and existing Tweets with the video."

Another Twitter spokesperson confirmed publicly the account had not been suspended but limited for 12 hours.

"This account has not been permanently suspended. Per the screenshot, the Tweet requires deletion because it violates our rules (sharing misinformation on COVID-19), and the account will have limited functionality for 12 hours," the spokesperson said in a tweet.

Late Monday, both the president and his son shared a video featuring what appeared to be doctor blasting the science and medical health experts' recommendations about wearing masks and saying there are cures for COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine.

Later, on both feeds, there was a message reading, "This Tweet is no longer available," with a link to generic information from Twitter about notices it puts on tweets.

While Trump retweeted an account that shared the same doctor video, Trump Jr. tweeted out the video directly. Twitter tells ABC News because President Trump's was a retweet, the company will not take similar action against the president's account.

"The President did not Tweet the video in question, he Retweeted it. Therefore, the account owner of the Tweet he Retweeted will face enforcement action," another Twitter spokesperson said.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all now taken action against the video which had already generated millions of views.

It's unclear how many people saw the video before it was taken down.

It appears Trump Jr.'s original tweet has now been deleted.


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