Wishing Trump's death from COVID-19 not allowed on Facebook, Twitter

Such posts will be removed, the social networks say.

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President Trump's Twitter page.

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As news of President Donald Trump's positive COVID-19 diagnosis spread, social media companies warned their users that content wishing for the president to die won't be allowed on their platforms.

After the president revealed on Thursday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, many people took to social media to wish him a speedy recovery, but many others said they hoped for the opposite outcome.

A Facebook spokesperson Friday such posts violate the social media giant's user policies and will be removed.

"To be clear, Facebook is removing death threats or content targeted directly at the president that wishes him death, including comments on his posts or his page -- in addition to content tagging him," Facebook spokeswoman Liz Bourgeois said in a tweet.


Twitter echoed that sentiment, saying Friday night that "tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed. This does not automatically mean suspension."

For some time, critics of Twitter have attacked the social network over a perceived failure to respond quickly and appropriately to reports of troubling tweets and harassment on the site. Twitter's announcement was met with immediate criticism from four Democratic congresswomen known as "The Squad."

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts have been the target of threats on the social network and say the company isn't applying its policies consistently.

"This is messed up," Tlaib tweeted Friday. "The death threats towards us should have been taking more seriously by [Twitter]."

Ocasio-Cortez questioned why this policy didn't apply to them, tweeting: "you mean to tell us you could've done this the whole time?"

Twitter agreed that it's been inconsistent with how it applies the policy and vowed to do better.

"We hear the voices who feel that we're enforcing some policies inconsistently," Twitter said Saturday. "We agree we must do better, and we are working together inside to do so."