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Trump Jr.'s Twitter Suspended As Social Media Platforms Push Back Against Coronavirus Misinformation

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Trump Jr.'s Twitter Suspended As Social Media Platforms Push Back Against Coronavirus Misinformation

The fight over coronavirus misinformation on social media continued Tuesday, as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) deleted a video of a group of doctors arguing about the effects of a controversial drug and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) suspended Donald Trump Jr.'s account for sharing the video. 

What Happened: On Monday a video shared by Breitbart News showed a group of doctors calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" holding a press conference in front of the Supreme Court.

In the video, various speakers claimed the COVID-19 virus has a cure, including “hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax.” Another speaker in the now-deleted video said masks are not needed to prevent the spread of the virus.

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter had all removed the video from their platforms by Tuesday. The video was widely shared across media platforms, including multiple accounts sharing the video being retweeted by President Donald Trump. Facebook told CNN that it “removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19."

Hydroxychloroquine is most commonly used as a malaria drug but some have argued is an effective drug to treat the coronavirus. The FDA has not approved the drug as an effective treatment.

Donald Trump Jr.'s spokesman Andrew Surabian said on Twitter that Trump's account was suspended for sharing the video and argued that social media is the biggest threat to expression in America today.

Trump's account was suspended for 12 hours.

Why It's Important: This is not the first time the social media giants have used their platforms to fight back against misinformation.

Twitter has placed warning labels on multiple tweets sent by the president. Facebook has seen arguably the most blowback, with multiple companies boycotting the site in recent months for not doing enough to stop the sharing of offensive content. 

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia

 

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