Twitter flagged Trump’s tweet about shooting looters as violating rules on “glorifying yesterday tonight as protesters set fires in St. Paul and Minneapolis, has been flagged by Twitter as violating the platform’s rules.
The original tweet read:
“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’s response: The tweet is hidden by a notice from Twitter — but is still viewable behind the notice.
“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,” says the notice.
A separate statement from the official Twitter Communications account explained that the tweet had been flagged “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”
The warning message will likely fuel Trump’s ongoing dispute with Twitter. Just yesterday, Trump signed an executive order targeting social media companies, days after Twitter called two of his tweets “potentially misleading.”
On Tuesday, Twitter applied a fact-check to two of Trump’s tweets, including one that claimed, without evidence, that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud. Trump immediately shot back, accusing the social media giant of censorship and warning that if it continued to offer addendums to his messages, he would use the power of the federal government to rein it in, or even shut it down.
Tech companies are also pushing back on the order; Facebook and Google have said Trump’s proposal risks harming the internet and the wider digital economy.
Protests swept across a number of major American cities on Thursday, with crowds taking to the streets to demand action against police brutality and accountability for several related deaths.
Minneapolis and St. Paul, known as the “Twin Cities” of Minnesota, both saw huge protests. In St. Paul, protesters faced off against riot police, batting tear gas canisters back and forth. More than 170 businesses were looted or damaged by the protests, police said.
And in Minneapolis, thousands of protesters surrounded a police precinct and set it on fire. They spray-painted the sides of the building, tried to climb up it, and cheered as the flames engulfed the building. All staff inside had been evacuated prior to the fire.