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Twitter hides Trump’s latest tweet about George Floyd because it ‘glorifies violence’

Twitter hides Trump’s latest tweet about George Floyd because it ‘glorifies violence’
[Photo: Tia Dufour/The White House/Flickr]

In a move that is sure to escalate Trump’s ire at Twitter, the social media company has hidden one of the president’s tweets from view for the first time ever. The move comes just a day after Trump signed an executive order aimed at putting pressure on social media companies, which seeks to limit a law that protects platforms from being sued over the content their users post.

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As for the latest salvo in the Trump-Twitter feud, Twitter hid the second of two tweets that the president posted about the riots occurring in Minneapolis in relation to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

In the first tweet, which Twitter did not hide, Trump wrote, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..”

But Twitter took action on his follow-up tweet in which the president continued, “….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!”

That tweet triggered a Twitter policy that bans posts glorifying violence. However, Twitter did not delete the tweet, instead choosing to hide it from automatic viewing. Users could still see that Trump tweeted something and see a note from Twitter saying, “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” complete with “View” button and a “Learn more” link.

When a user clicks the “View” button, they’ll see Trump’s original tweet, however commenting and liking the tweet are disabled.

The reason Twitter has chosen to hide Trump’s tweet is likely due to the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This violates Twitter’s policy that states, “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence.”

Normally any tweet that glorifies violence would be deleted from the platform in its entirety. However, Trump’s tweet was instead only hidden because there is an exception to this policy that says, “In very rare instances, we may decide that content is worthy of a public-interest exception if there is a more attenuated connection to actual violence, or if Twitter is the only source of the information.”

In other words, being the president of the United States, Trump’s tweets are viewed by Twitter as content that “is worthy of a public-interest exception.” Of course, the fact that Twitter has even hidden one of his tweets just days after it labeled another of Trump’s tweets as containing false information isn’t likely to sit well with the president. Then again, Trump can always just use Facebook if he doesn’t like Twitter’s policies.

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