August 5, 2020; Daily Beast
As we have reported, Color of Change and other advocacy groups have long asked for Facebook to take responsibility and act against hate speech and misinformation that could spread harm to the public. But Facebook, and in particular its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, have resisted any role in being, as Zuckerberg puts it, “arbiters of the truth,” particularly when it comes to missives from President Trump. Last year, the social media company declared that it would give a pass to hate speech and misinformation from public officials under a 2016 policy that categorized the information as “newsworthy.”
But when the president posted on Wednesday morning an interview of himself on Fox & Friends wherein he suggested that children are virtually immune from COVID-19, Facebook finally took a little bit of action, removing the post from his page.
Facebook’s statement on the matter said, “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19, which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation.”—Ruth McCambridge