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Facebook removed Trump post claiming the flu is deadlier than COVID-19

By Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all (CNT)

Twitter also flagged the Twitter post with the same message.

Facebook employed its COVID-19 misinformation policy Tuesday after President Donald Trump posted that COVID-19 is less deadly than the seasonal flu.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the removal to CNN late Tuesday morning. The post read: “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal.”

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At the time a screengrab was taken of the post Tuesday morning, the statements had been shared more than 1,700 times and liked 23,000 times. The post also received thousands of comments. Per the company’s Facebook and Instagram rules, post with “COVID-19 related misinformation that could contribute to imminent physical harm” are removed.

“Since January, we’ve applied this policy to misinformation about COVID-19 to remove posts that make false claims about cures, treatments, the availability of essential services or the location and severity of the outbreak,” read a statement from Facebook.

The president also posted the message on Twitter, and it was flagged by the platform on the same basis. The tweet, which was posted at 8:03 a.m., is still visible on the site with a proceeding message.

In August, Facebook and Twitter removed a post by Trump for containing other incorrect claims about Covid-19. The post contained a video of President during a Fox News interview in which he falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” to the virus.