Twitter has for the first time affixed a warning label to one of President Donald Trump’s tweets stating that it violated the platform’s rule against glorifying violence.
Twitter used the “public interest notice” on the tweet about protests and violence in Minneapolis, Minnesota following the death of George Floyd; a black man who was killed by a white officer.
This means that the tweet will not be removed but hidden behind a notice that states “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence”, users can only view it if they click past the notice.
“As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it,” Twitter said.
The Head of State at 12:53 am made a tweet accusing CNN of dishonouring the memory of George Floyd after they aired images of fires and destructive protests in Minneapolis.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump wrote.
The phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” sparked mixed reactions among online users over its similarity with a language used by a Miami police chief in the late 1960s in the wake of riots.
Twitter users reported the tweet as a violation of rules and in less than two-and-a-half hours, the company took action
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” Twitter said.
In reaction to Twitter’s action, Trump signed an executive order aimed at preventing online censorship.
He said Twitter’s action reflected political bias as it did not flag tweets by other politicians who promoted falsehoods.
“When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.
They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators,” said Trump.
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