Facebook removed a video post from President Donald Trump's personal page Wednesday that included a segment from a Fox News interview in which he falsely said children are "almost immune" to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
"This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation," said Andy Stone, a Facebook policy spokesperson.
Twitter also removed the video from its platform on Wednesday night after it was tweeted by the Trump campaign, saying the video was “in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”
In the interview, which aired Wednesday morning, Trump said children should return to school because they are "almost immune" or "virtually immune" to the disease. While they are less vulnerable, children can, in fact, transmit the disease to others, and some children have died from it.
The action, the first time Facebook has removed a Trump post for COVID-19 misinformation, marks a rare instance in which it has been willing to censor the president. In June, Facebook removed ads that the Trump campaign posted that featured a symbol Nazis used to classify political prisoners during World War II.
A link to the post now diverts to a page that says, "This Content Isn't Available Right Now."
Facebook said Wednesday that hackers based in China used the social media platform as part of a campaign to hack and spy on diasporas of Uyghurs, the minority group the country has been accused of putting in “re-education” camps.
The hackers used Facebook to identify, track and send malicious links to Uyghur activists, dissidents and journalists living in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Turkey, among other countries, Facebook said.
Facebook stopped short of directly blaming the Chinese government for sponsoring the campaign. “We can see geographic attribution based on the activity, but we can’t actually prove who’s behind the operation,” the company’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a phone call with journalists.
But Facebook did say the hackers are part of the same operation that the cybersecurity company Volexity cited in 2019 as being affiliated with the Chinese government. It published research that revealed that the country’s hackers had gone to extreme measures to hack and spy on Uyghurs. They used sophisticated, previously unknown tools to load malicious code into multiple Uyghur news sites so that they would hack and spy on nearly any smartphone that visited.
Protest in Istanbul protest against China “Who else would have the resources, the time and effort to go after these people? If you told me it was Iceland I'd be pretty surprised,” Volexity CEO Steven Adair said in a phone call Wednesday.
Some of the research into the hackers came from the cybersecurity company Mandiant, Facebook said.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday shared a dramatic Fourth of July video of himself toting an American flag while riding an electric surfboard across a lake — once again lighting the internet up as the social media crowd chimed in.
“Happy July 4th!” Zuckerberg, who’s worth an estimated $132 billion, wrote on the Instagram post of the video.
The Facebook founder appeared to be riding a $12,000 Efoil board, which allows users to glide above the water. Last year, Zuckerberg was pictured riding a similar board, caked in an obscene amount of sunscreen, off the coast of Hawaii.
In the video posted Sunday, the mega-billionaire deftly slices through the water on his board to the tune of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
“This is the worst thing that has ever existed,” one Twitter user commented on the video.
Fellow tech exec Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of enterprise cloud company Box, jousted, “Zuck really doing his part to make tech founders seem normal.”
But the video also drew comparisons to George Washington’s daring crossing of Delaware in 1776 to launch a surprise attack on unsuspecting British forces.
Meanwhile, a reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation shared a photo of the video alongside a 2016 photo of Zuckerberg going for a jog in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.