Social Media Platforms Censor Doctors Purportedly Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation

Headline Roundup July 28th, 2020

On Monday, Breitbart News posted a video of a press conference in D.C. held by America’s Frontline Doctors and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. In it, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and front-line doctors shared their perspectives on coronavirus and public health. Some claims the speakers made are unconfirmed and believed by some to be false, including a Texas doctor's claim that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for the virus. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter removed footage of the press conference from their social media platforms for allegedly spreading misinformation. Clips from the conference were tweeted by President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., leading Twitter to delete the tweets and to limit Trump Jr.'s account.

Coverage of this story from left- and center-rated outlets focused on the claim that the information being shared was dubious. Coverage from right-rated outlets tended to emphasize the purportedly unjust censorship of the video and tweets.

Social Media Platforms Censor Doctors Purportedly Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation

From the Center
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A Breitbart video touting misinformation about the coronavirus has quickly spread across social-media platforms, where clips were retweeted by President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr.

The video, which got more than 14 million views on Facebook alone, according to CNN, which cited CrowdTangle data, has since been taken down from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter — including removing tweets that the president shared.

"Tweets with the video are in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy," a Twitter representative told Business Insider. "We are taking action in line with...

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From the Right
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Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Twitter subsequently removed footage of the press conference as well.

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From the Left
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Twitter has temporarily suspended the account belonging to Donald Trump Jr, the son of U.S. President Donald Trump, after he posted content that violated the company’s policies on misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The account will be suspended for 12 hours, during which time Don Jr. will be barred from posting new messages, liking or retweeting other posts. He will still be allowed to use Twitter’s Direct Message service to contact his followers. A Twitter spokesperson said this was not a suspension but rather a "temporary lockout until the...

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