The social media giant Twitter have ramped up their row with the US president Donald Trump, who’s tweet about acting against protestors in Minneapolis, by using violence against them, after the tragic death of African-American George Floyd, which twitter stated “glorifies violence”.
The tweet last night warned people in Minneapolis that he would send in the military to intervene. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump wrote, apeing a former Miami police chief Walter Headley, who in 1967 promised violent reprisals to protests over stop-and-frisk tactics.
Two hours later, Twitter added a notice to the tweet: “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.” .
The U.S. administration responded by sending an identical tweet from the official White House account, placing Trump’s words in quotation marks. Trump himself sent several angry tweets, accusing Twitter of “doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party”, and warning that “it will be regulated!”
The row erupted on Wednesday when Twitter applied a fact-checking label to the president’s tweets for the first time after Trump accused California of using mail-in ballots to ensure a “rigged election” to which Twitter added a label reading: “get the facts about mail-in ballots”, which had a link to a “Twitter-curated” set of fact checks.
In response, the president signed an executive order that aims to remove Twitter’s protections against civil claims in cases where it acts as an “editor” rather than a publisher.
In a Twitter thread, the company explained its latest decision: “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.”