Twitter has suspended the account of the US President’s son Donald Trump Jr. The firm said he violated rules for sharing a Breitbart video misinforming about a COVID-19 cure.
This account has not been permanently suspended. Per the screenshot, the Tweet requires deletion because it violates our rules (sharing misinformation on COVID-19), and the account will have limited functionality for 12 hours. More in our rules: https://t.co/0wHWVV5QS4 https://t.co/0gq7rlaNw7
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) July 28, 2020
The firm prohibited Trump Jr. from tweeting or engaging on the platform for 12 hours, as shown above.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are working to remove the viral video from their platforms to stop its spread.
The video shows a group called America’s Frontline Doctors in a press conference. They said the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19. These alleged doctors wearing lab coats informed viewers not to wear face masks.
More than 20 million views have been registered on Facebook alone.
President Trump reshared the post. And Twitter has removed those tweets as well. It does not suspend accounts for reshared content.
Trump has been resharing several other posts claiming the drug as an effective cure for COVID-19. But it contradicts the official advice from the FDA.
Trump Jr’s account suspension is the latest in a rising strife between Trump and Twitter. And we are talking about the same platform that helped him win the 2016 elections.
“I would do that in a heartbeat if I had fair… If we had a fair press in this country, I would do that in a heartbeat. There’s nothing I’d rather do than get rid of my whole Twitter account, but I’m able to get to, I guess, 186 million people when you add up all the different accounts […] And so if I get a story that’s wrong, I can put a social media [post] out, and the next day or the next minute or the next hour, everybody’s reading about it,” Trump explained in May.
The Trump campaign is calling Twitter an enemy of free speech. His new campaign ads ask support in his battle against the platform.
The Twitter-Trump conflict has started heating up over the past few months. But the feud reached new levels two months ago.
Twitter flagged two of Trump’s tweets in May about the voting process. It decided these tweets might threaten voter participation.
The President issued an Executive Order to review the powers allowing Twitter to make those calls on his comments.
Before that, Trump had considered forming a panel to review online bias on social media.
So disgusting to watch Twitter’s so-called “Trending”, where sooo many trends are about me, and never a good one. They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend. Really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020
Trump is growing his followings by framing “us against them” battles. He is aligning with the conservative angst against Twitter to call for more support.
The president has been framing mass media as “fake news.” He views himself as the only one eager to speak the truth. It enforces his supporters who believe in a structure held by the elite who control shared information.
His style aligns with the sharing of the Breitbart video. A rising number of people believe the ongoing measures to suppress COVID-19 are part of state control. And conspiracy theories are gaining traction through social media.