Twitter places warning on Trump post, saying tweet glorifies violence

 

Twitter put a tweet from President Donald Trump behind a warning label early Friday, stating that he had violated its rules against glorifying violence when he tweeted about protests over the death of George Floyd.

The company, which is already embroiled in a dispute with the president over what is acceptable on the platform, did not remove the tweet.

Later Friday morning, the official White House Twitter account sent the same message. Twitter then hid the tweet behind the same warning label.

On Friday afternoon, Trump defended his remarks: “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means….,” he tweeted.

He added, “….It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”

On Thursday, with fires burning in Minneapolis during a third night of protests in the wake of the death of Floyd, Trump threatened to call in the National Guard, labeled the protesters “thugs” and said Mayor Jacob Frey had lost control over the city.

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump tweeted.

Protesters are demanding that the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest be charged. Looting and fires have been widespread in the area where Floyd died Monday.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.

Within hours, Twitter added a public interest notice to the post. Users must now click “view” to see the tweet.

Image: Trump Tweet
A screenshot of the warning screen on Trump’s tweet.Twitter

The company said it had “taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”

Hours later Friday morning, Trump tweeted something that appeared unrelated: “Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!”

Around the same time that the White House tweet was posted, Dan Scavino, Trump adviser and White House director of social media, tweeted, “Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform. Twitter is full of shit — more and more people are beginning to get it.”

On Thursday, the president signed an executive order asking federal regulators to revisit the 1996 law that protects websites from liability for what their users post.

The move came days after Twitter added a fact-check label to a pair of Trump’s tweets for the first time earlier in the week. The message included a link directing users to a page with news reports debunking the tweets, in which Trump claimed there was “NO WAY” an election with boosted mail-in voting would be legitimate.

A representative for Twitter told NBC News this week that those tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” The spokesperson added that the company rolled out a policy this month to combat misinformation.

Trump said he issued the executive order as a way to safeguard free speech.

“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly, and you know what’s going on as well as anybody,” Trump said. “It’s not good.”

“They’ve had unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,” he added.