Twitter today said that one of Donald Trump’s tweets had broken its rules about “glorifying violence”, marking the latest salvo in an escalating feud between social media firms and the US president.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted, in reference to protests over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
“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!”
Twitter placed a public interest notice on the tweet, saying it violated the social media platform’s policy on glorifying violence.
Later it also did the same to a tweet using the same words that was sent from the White House account.
The microblogging site said its decision was 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,” the company wrote.
The notice means that engagement with the post is limited. Users will be able to retweet with comment, but not like, reply or retweet the post.
But in a tweet this morning Trump doubled down on his position.
“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,” he wrote.
“Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!”
An hour later Trump continued his attack on the platform, tweeting: “What about all of the lies and fraudulent statements made by Adam Schiff, and so many others, on the Russian Witch Hunt Plus, Plus, Plus?
“What about China’s propaganda? WHO’s mistakes? No flags?”
The rant continued with further calls to repeal section 230, before concluding with the single word “China”.
The move marks an escalation in tensions between social media firms and Trump, who posts frequently on Twitter.
The president yesterday signed an executive order designed to weaken the legal protections surrounding social media companies.
The measure would allow regulators to take legal action against platforms over the way they police their users’ content. However, legal experts have said the challenge is unlikely to stand up to scrutiny.
The row began earlier this week when Twitter attached a fact check warning to one of Trump’s tweets for the first time under a new policy to prevent the spread of misinformation.