Twitter has once again hidden a tweet by US President Donald Trump, saying it violates the social media platform’s policy against “the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.” Twitter tagged and hid the tweet, but you can still click to see it “given its relevance to ongoing public conversation.”
“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President,” Trump’s tweet says. “If they try they will be met with serious force!”
Twitter began labelling the president’s tweets last month, starting when Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots for the November election would be “substantially fraudulent.” This prompted Twitter to apply a fact-checking label to the comments, saying they contained “potentially misleading information” and providing a link so users could learn more. Trump followed by tweeting that he would take “big action” against social media companies.
Twitter also labeled a tweet by the president about protests in Minnesota over the death of George Floyd in police custody. This time, Twitter screened out Trump’s tweet behind a warning label that says the post violates the site’s rules about “glorifying violence.”
By comparison, Facebook took no action, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying social media platforms shouldn’t be fact-checking the president. Zuckerberg has repeatedly defended his refusal to take down or flag any similar posts despite being slammed by civil rights leaders, and some Facebook employees staging a protest.
Last week, though, bothdue to a copyright complaint. Twitter had already labelled Trump’s tweet with the video, saying it contained “manipulated media.”
The situation culminated in Trump signing an executive order targeting social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The Justice Department last week unveiled its proposal to amend Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which is considered the most important law protecting speech online. It would be amended to remove protections preventing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and internet providers like Verizon and Comcast from facing lawsuits over posts made by users on their services.