Twitter applied a warning label early Friday on President Donald Trump’s latest tweet about the death of George Floyd, which it said violated rules against glorifying violence.
Trump called people protesting the death of Floyd, who died in Minneapolis on Monday after a police officer knelt on his neck, “THUGS” and threatened to send troops. “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” tweeted the president.
Protests have erupted nationwide over Floyd’s death with demonstrators in Minneapolis setting buildings on fire and warring with police.
Twitter’s label, below, said the platform had “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Users are still able to click through to see Trump’s post:
Trump seemingly responded to the label later Friday morning, with a tweet complaining Twitter doesn’t challenge “lies & propaganda” from “China or the Radical Left Democratic Party.”
He suggested that Section 230 — the section of the Communications Decency Act that shields social media platforms from liability for what people post on them — be revoked. “Until then,” he wrote, it should be regulated. Trump signed an executive order Thursday that aims to weaken those legal protections.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
The official White House account then posted the text of Trump’s initial offending post. That too was marked with the “glorifying violence” warning:
Twitter’s labeling is sure to escalate tensions between the president and his favorite social media platform. On Tuesday, Twitter put fact-check warnings on two of the president’s tweets in which he baselessly claimed that mail-in voting was “substantially fraudulent.”
Trump hit back and accused the platform of “stifling free speech.”
Then, on Thursday, he signed the executive order in a bid to weaken legal protections for social media companies by pushing the liability for what gets posted onto them.
Twitter has, however, refused to take action against Trump’s spreading of false conspiracy theories suggesting MSNBC host Joe Scarborough committed murder.
Twitter confirmed Friday that it had “placed a public interest notice” on Trump’s George Floyd post:
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. https://t.co/sl4wupRfNH— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
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.— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
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. https://t.co/V3T521zjnj— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
It followed a growing backlash from other prominent users of the platform, including comedian Patton Oswalt, a fierce critic of the president:
Liza Hearon contributed reporting.
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