Twitter Sanctions White House Tweet, Which Repeated Earlier Trump Tweetby Tommy Beer
The official White House Twitter feed seemingly taunted Twitter on Friday morning, reposting an earlier post from President Trump which it said was "glorifying violence;" Twitter has responded by overlaying a warning on the White House tweet as well.
Thursday night was the third consecutive night of protests following the death of George Floyd, and it was by far the most destructive.
In a pair of tweets early Friday morning, Trump criticized "very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey" and threatened to send in the National Guard.
The president then tweeted: ″....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!"
Twitter flagged the post, stating: "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts."
However, the official White House Twitter account then reposted Trump's words verbatim.
Twitter responded by again overlaying a warning that it violated Twitter rules on glorifying violence.
The White House account countered up by tweeting: “The President did not glorify violence. He clearly condemned it. @Jack and Twitter's biased, bad-faith "fact-checkers" have made it clear: Twitter is a publisher, not a platform.”
"Imagine if your phone company silenced or edited your conversations. Social-media companies have vastly more power and more reach than any phone company in the United States," Trump said Thursday, just before signing the executive order.
Critics have noted that Trump's comments echo the remarks of former Miami police chief Walter Headley, who threatened a violent crackdown on protests over his stop-and-frisk tactics targeting African Americans in 1967. Headley was chief of police in Miami for 20 years. According to a United Press International article published two days after Christmas in 1967, Headley said that law enforcement was targeting "young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign. "This is war," Headley declared, announcing a new effort to put down a recent surge of violent crime in the city, adding, "We don't mind being accused of police brutality."
On Tuesday, Twitter applied, for the first time, a fact-checking notice to tweets by the president, which were related to voter fraud. On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order with the intent of curtailing social media companies' rights by restricting their liability protections, calling Twitter "an editor with a viewpoint." The executive order takes aim at a federal regulation known as Section 230, which gives companies like Facebook and Twitter immunity against being sued over the content that appears on their sites from users. Friday's back-and-forth will assuredly only increase tensions between the president and the popular social media platform.