Twitter limits Donald Trump Jr.’s account, says he shared misinformation on virus

Politics

Twitter has limited some functionality on Donald Trump Jr.’s account after he tweeted a video that ran afoul of the company’s policies on Covid-19 misinformation, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business on July 28, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Twitter has limited some functionality on Donald Trump Jr.’s account after he tweeted a video that ran afoul of the company’s policies on COVID-19 misinformation, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business on Tuesday.

Some of the account’s functionality will be limited for 12 hours, the spokesperson said.

The video in question relates to hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug promoted by President Donald Trump as a treatment for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Numerous studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use as a emergency treatment for COVID-19.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube began scrubbing their sites of the video Monday because it includes misleading claims about hydroxychloroquine, and glosses over the dangers of taking it. But dozens of versions of the video remain live on their platforms, with conservative news outlets, groups and internet personalities sharing it on their pages, where users have viewed them millions of times.

Facebook is trying to remove the video because it is “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” according to Andy Stone, a spokesman for the platform.

Twitter also said it is working to remove the video, which led to the partial suspension of Trump Jr., who had described one version of the video as a “must watch!!!” Monday night.

Earlier in the pandemic, Trump advocated vigorously for hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment, or even a preventative, telling people, “What have you got to lose?” Trump also said he took a 14-day course of hydroxychloroquine, but later discontinued taking the drug.

The president returned to his earlier advocacy for hydroxychloroquine after returning from a trip to North Carolina Monday, where he promoted efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Trump retweeted a series of tweets advocating for the drug, including a video of a doctor claiming to have successfully used it on hundreds of patients.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, responded to Trump’s tweets during an appearance Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I go along with the FDA,” said Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”

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