Platform continues clampdown on certain tweets from US President Donald Trump, with new warning on his Tuesday tweet about protesters in Washington DC
Donald Trump and Twitter continue to butt heads, after the latter placed another warning label on one of the US President’s tweets on Tuesday.
Twitter on Tuesday reacted when Donald Trump tweeted about US protesters and he threatened “serious force” against them in the American capital city.
Twitter for the past month has been clashing with the US President, after it placed warning fact-checking labels on a couple of his tweets for the first time in late May, when he made unsubstantiated claims that postal voting would lead to widespread fraud.
Twitter then also hid tweets from Trump and the official White House account when they tweeted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. It hid those tweets saying they were “glorifying violence”.
And now weeks later Twitter has done it again, when it placed a warning notice on a tweet by President Trump.
“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!” the president said in his tweet.
But Twitter placed this tweet behind the following warning.
“We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” the Twitter notice reads.
It said that although the President’s tweet violated Twitter Rules about abusive behavior, it determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible, so it hid the tweet behind the warning message.
Twitter users will be unable to retweet the offending tweet due to the measure, and will have to click through Twitter’s warning to see the tweet.
Trump had issued the tweet on Tuesday in response to anti-racism protesters on Monday who had declared a “Black House Autonomous Zone” in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.
This “Black House Autonomous Zone” is in reference to a Seattle ‘Autonomous Zone’ taken over by activists earlier this month – a move that President Trump has fiercely criticised.
Police in Washington DC meanwhile have cleared the White House area on Tuesday and blocked access to the site.
A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters that teams within the company’s safety division informed CEO Jack Dorsey of the decision before applying the notice.
Facebook meanwhile continued its hands-off approach and left the same post untouched – a move that has prompted fierce criticism of Mark Zuckerberg’s stance from Facebook’s old guard (its earliest employees) and senior managers who led a virtual walkout at the firm.
Twitter has been seeking for a while now to tighten up its rules about tweets and online abuse, but the platform does have a deserved reputation for its toxic environment.
Indeed, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter Jack Dorsey in April 2019, said he wanted to change the platform and move “away from outrage and mob behaviour and towards productive, healthy conversation.”
One of those measures to stop its platform being used to distort the political landscape for example, saw Twitter in November 2019 ban all political advertising worldwide.
Prior to that in October 2019 Twitter had clarified the rules for banning world leaders using the micro-blogging platform to push their views, after calls for the suspension of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
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