‘Social Media Are Not Arbiters of Truth,’ the White House Says — Is It True?

USA & World

‘Social Media Are Not Arbiters of Truth,’ the White House Says — Is It True?

Facebook and Twitter have removed a post shared by Donald Trump for breaking their rules for spreading misinformation and fake news.

It was a video clip from a Fox News interview, in which the President urged US schools to reopen, wrongfully stating that kids are ”almost immune” to the coronavirus.

Facebook also deleted the controversial post from Trump’s personal page. Both social media channels claimed the post violated their internal rules on COVID-19 misinformation.

Courtney Parella, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, criticized the move, arguing that the President only said that children are ”less susceptible” to the novel virus. In her view, the post’s removal is the next example of Silicon Valley’s bias against Donald Trump. She also accused the social media channels that they enforced the rules in one direction.

”Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth,” Parella emphasized.

About half a million people viewed the Fox interview in the four hours before it was removed from Facebook.

During the White House briefing on Wednesday, the President repeated his claims that the virus had little impact on children. He noted that ”according to every statistic,” kids seem to handle the novel virus ”very well.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously said that children and infants have contracted the virus and can also transmit it to others.

The World Health Organization reviewed 6 million cases of infections between February and July to determine that the share of children aged 5-14 years was nearly 4.6%.

Facebook has rarely removed posts from political figures, arguing that it would affect the freedom of speech. However, Facebook employees, members of the Democratic Party, as well as numerous civil rights groups have often criticized Mark Zuckerberg for prioritizing free speech over ”all other values.”

It is not the first time when Facebook removes content from Donald Trump‘s page. It is the first time removal is because of the social media’s Covid-19 rules. In June, Facebook deleted ads by Trump campaigners for using a Nazi symbol.

Last week, Twitter also took action against Trump and his son for posts promoting bogus cures for the deadly disease.

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor has welcomed the move. In his opinion, Facebook has been ”too lenient” with the President, especially when his posts involve public health and children.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with Courtney Parella’s statement that ”social media companies are not the arbiters of truth?”