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Government urged to apply pressure to social media giants

Politicians and regulators have been urged to force social media firms to take tougher action against misinformation.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) thinks the UK and US government must do more to apply pressure to big social media companies, whose response to misinformation has been called into question amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Imran Ahmed, the CCDH's chief executive, said to the BBC: "This is an immediate crisis, with a ticking time bomb about to go off in our societies.

"Social media companies ... do not listen to polite requests for change. Given the acute nature of the coronavirus crisis, their failure to act must now be met with real consequences."

The call came shortly after Facebook removed Donald Trump's "harmful" post in which he claimed children are "almost immune" from the coronavirus.

The social media site deleted the clip for breaking its misinformation policy.

Twitter also paused the US President's official campaign until it was removed.

The video was by Fox News and Trump made the misguided comment during a phone interview.

In response, Facebook said it's "false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation".

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