The President tweeted “….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!”
He was referring to looters in Minneapolis and property damage during a second night of violent protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd.
The Twitter Safety account stated
“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today….We’ve 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….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 came under fire from the President yesterday who signed an Executive Order (EO) aimed at removing some of the legal protections given to social media platforms.
This order argues that social networks that edit posts by adding fact-checking labels to posts are to be considered ‘publishers instead of forums’ according to Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
Twitter’s Public Policy account tweeted earlier today in response to the EO: “This EO is a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law. #Section230 protects American innovation and freedom of expression, and it’s underpinned by democratic values. Attempts to unilaterally erode it threaten the future of online speech and Internet freedoms.”
From its tweet this morning, Twitter has demonstrated that it is not backing down on its May 26 decision to label two of the President’s tweets with “get the facts” links.
On May 26, the President tweeted “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..”
This tweet was followed by “….living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”
Twitter Safety justified its decision to add the labels. It said: “We added a label to two @realDonaldTrump Tweets about California’s vote-by-mail plans as part of our efforts to enforce our civic integrity policy.”
“We believe those Tweets could confuse voters about what they need to do to receive a ballot and participate in the election process,” it added. “We also wanted to provide additional context and conversation with regard to voter fraud and mail-in ballots. We have a range of remediations, and in some cases we add labels that link to more context.”