Twitter concealed one of Donald Trump’s tweets on Friday for ‘glorifying violence,’ ramping up a dispute with the US president who says social media companies censor conservative voices like his.
In a move bound to infuriate one of the platform’s most followed users, Twitter said it was placing a ‘public interest notice’ on a Trump message about protests in Minneapolis over
the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of the police.
In a late night tweet, Trump wrote: ‘These THUGS are dishonouring 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!’
Hours later, the micro-messaging platform hid the tweet behind a message that said it ‘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.’
‘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.’
Users could still click through and view the full unedited tweet.
Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, lashed out at the platform on Thursday, signing an executive order seeking to strip social media giants of legal immunity for content they carry.
The order calls on government regulators to evaluate if they should be eligible for liability protection for content posted by their millions of users.
The move, which was slammed by critics as a legally dubious act of political revenge, came after Twitter labelled two earlier
Trump tweets — on the increasingly contentious topic of mail-in voting — as misleading.
If enforced, the action would upend decades of precedent and treat internet platforms as ‘publishers’ potentially liable for user-generated content.
Trump told reporters at the White House he acted because big tech firms ‘have had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences.’
‘We can’t let this continue to happen,’ Trump said.
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