Twitter Inc. issued a warning on Tuesday by President Donald Trump on a tweet threatening “serious force” against protesters in the U.S. capital, the second time that the label has been used since Trump’s tweets began to be challenged in May.
“In Washington, D.C., there will never be an ‘Autonomous Region’ for as long as I’m your President. If they try they ‘re going to be met with serious force! “In his tweet, the president said Twitter violated his policy against abusive behavior.
Trump posted the message after Monday’s anti-racism protesters declared a “Black House Autonomous Zone”-referring to a Seattle area that was taken over by activists known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone-in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church near White House.
Tuesday, police cleared the White House area and blocked access to the site where law enforcement had used violence earlier this month to disperse protesters.
Twitter said that it hid Trump’s tweet behind its notice of “public interest,” as it included a threat of harm to an identifiable group. The label restricts public officials’ distribution of tweets that violate Twitter’s rules while leaving them online to allow for scrutiny.
A spokeswoman for Twitter said teams within the safety division of the organization had told Chief Executive Jack Dorsey of the decision before submitting the notice.
Facebook, which has adopted a more hands-off approach to political leaders’ speech, has left the same post untouched.
According to the most recent image captured by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, at least 150,000 people had liked Trump’s tweet and 33,000 had retweeted it before Twitter restricted engagement. His post had received 12,000 comments on Facebook.
The warning escalated the Twitter challenge to Trump, who has been using the platform for years unimpeded to rally supporters and deride opponents.
Trump announced plans to scrap or weaken a law that has protected Internet companies to regulate social media platforms more aggressively after the company began applying labels to its messages last month.
The first public interest warning Twitter released against Trump also included a threat of intimidation against demonstrators who have been protesting against racial discrimination after George Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody on May 25.
Trump used the phrase “when the looting begins, the shooting begins” to threaten deadly force against Minneapolis protesters where Floyd died.
Twitter said the message violated its rules against “glorifying violence,” adding fact-checking and manipulating media labels in the last month to Trump’s tweets.
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