Facebook removed a post by President Donald Trump comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu, while Twitter added a warning the message contained “misleading” information.
Trump, who recently returned from a stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for the coronavirus, wrote Tuesday on Facebook and Twitter that Americans should adapt to the presence of COVID-19 as they have with the seasonal flu.
“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu,” wrote Trump. “Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
In a statement, Facebook confirmed Trump’s post was taken down. “We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19, and have now removed this post,” said the company.
Twitter updated Trump’s post with a warning the tweet violated its policies for spreading “misleading and potentially harmful information” related to the pandemic.
“However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” said the social media site.
Recent studies from Harvard and Cornell suggest Trump is the largest source of disinformation on the pandemic and election.
Social media platforms have faced increased pressure to act on posts from Trump which contain misleading information. In May, Twitter changed its stance on Trump, fact-checking tweets and adding warnings. In response, Trump said he would crack down on social media companies.
Facebook also changed its stance after initially saying it would maintain a hands-off approach on Trump posts. Its early position drew criticism from both current and former employees.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.