Donald Trump. (Ken Cedeno / POOL)
The social networks Facebook and Twitter censored on Tuesday a message shared by President Donald Trump in which he compared the COVID-19 pandemic with influenza and assured that the former is “much less lethal” in most populations.
Twitter took the first step and hid the president's tweet with a warning that he violates the rules of that social network “on the dissemination of misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19”, although it kept it accessible if clicked on him for his “interest to the public.”
This is a strategy that Twitter has already followed several times with messages from the president since in May he began to verify and place alerts along with the content shared by Trump, who has his favorite social network on the blue bird platform.
Twitter's decision was followed by Facebook's, which was even more drastic and completely eliminated the message, considering, as indicated by the company in a statement, that it was “incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19 . “
The message shared by Trump was as follows: “Flu season is coming! Many people every year, sometimes more than 100,000, and despite the vaccine, die of the flu. Are we going to close our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just as we are learning to live with COVID, in most populations much less lethal ”.
The part that the networks consider that it does not adjust to reality is the final one, in which the president assures that COVID is “much less lethal” in most populations than influenza.
Most scientific studies suggest that everything seems to indicate that the degree of fatality of COVID-19 (that is, the percentage of deaths with respect to the total number of infected) is higher than that of influenza, although the exact figure cannot be know for several years, when exhaustive investigations have been carried out, all the data are available and the disease is better known.
Trump responded to the actions of Twitter and Facebook with a new message calling for the removal of the legal protections enjoyed by large Internet platforms under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 .
That section indicates that large Internet companies are exempt from almost any legal consequence resulting from the content published on their platform and even from their own decisions to remove content, because they are assumed to be mere intermediaries or channels.