President Trump himself also tweeted several links to the offending video, which claims hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19. Twitter has since deleted the tweets he re-tweeted.
Twitter is temporarily blocking Donald Trump Jr.’s account from tweeting after he posted a video claiming the drug hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19 and that masks are ineffective.
Twitter took action because the video violates its policy against posting COVID-19 misinformation. The company is now demanding Trump Jr. delete his original tweet.
“We require removal of content that may pose a risk to people’s health, including content that directly goes against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local health information,” the company wrote in its notice to Trump Jr.
In the meantime, Twitter is also temporarily limiting certain functions on his account for the next 12 hours. Trump Jr. can still browse the site and send direct messages, but he can no longer tweet, retweet, like, or follow new accounts.
On Monday, President Trump himself also retweeted several links to the video, which was originally posted by right-wing news site Breitbart and contains false claims about treating COVID-19. Twitter has refrained from restricting the president’s account directly, but it did delete the tweets that Trump retweeted. Where those retweets once were is a message that says “This Tweet is no longer available. Learn more.”
The video the president and his son posted features a group called “America’s Frontline Doctors,” which held a press conference in Washington D.C. yesterday. “This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine,” the doctor Stella Immanuel at one point says. “You don’t need mask… No, you don’t need people to be locked down.”
However, Immanuel has a history of making bizarre claims. According to The Daily Beast, she’s published blog posts and sermons talking about demon sex corrupting humans, and alien DNA being used in treatments. Medical studies have also shown hydroxychloroquine has no effectiveness in treating COVID-19, which prompted the FDA to caution against its use.
Still, the video has attracted tens of millions of viewers on social media before Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook began taking the footage down. (The same video also features doctors saying schools should reopen because children are less likely to contract and transmit the virus, and that the lockdown measures are causing psychological harm.)
Twitter’s decision to limit functionality to Donald Trump Jr.’s account is now sparking some conservatives to claim social media sites are censoring them.
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