Twitter hides Donald Trump tweet for ‘glorifying violence’

Friday, May 29, 2020

Twitter has hidden a tweet posted by Donald Trump on the grounds it violated the sites ruled on glorifying violence.

The US president had labelled protesters “thugs” and warned “when the looting, starts the shooting”, in reference to violent protests breaking out across the country.

Rather than taking the post down, the social media giant attached a warning telling users that though it broke the rules, “it may be in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible”.

It comes after Mr Trump signed an executive order to challenge liability protections for social media companies in a growing war over free speech and fact-checking.

The order aims to give regulators the power to take legal action against social media firms for the way they police content on their sites.

It would introduce legislation to “remove or change” the section of US law that currently says platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are not liable for the content that users post on the networks.

However, experts have questioned whether such a change could be enacted without the approval of Congress.

Mr Trump has accused Twitter of stifling free speech after it attached fact-check warnings to his tweets. He said the checks were “editorial decisions” by the site and amounted to political activism.

“They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,” the Republican leader said.

Watch Julia Hartley-Brewer’s interview with political theory professor Jeffrey Howard about Mr Trump’s executive order above.

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