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Twitter red flags shocking Donald Trump tweet about ‘looting and shooting’ for ‘glorifying violence’ just hours after the President signed executive order to curb web giants’ bias

  • Trump’s warning to Minneapolis protesters that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ is now covered by a message that the president’s statement ‘glorifies violence’ and violates the website’s rules 
  • The president’s tweet can still be read by bypassing the warning, but cannot be liked or replied to 
  • Twitter said it was in the public interest to keep the tweet live ‘given its relevance to matters of importance’  
  • Trump issued his threat early this morning after a third straight night of protests over death of George Floyd 
  • The president yesterday signed an executive order that could expose social media sites to a flood of lawsuits
  • It came after Twitter posted fact-check warnings on two of Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting on Tuesday

By Frances Mulraney and Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor and Tim Stickings For Dailymail.com, 29 May 2020

Twitter has red-flagged a Donald Trump tweet for the second time in four days by covering the president’s message about the Minneapolis riots with a comment that it ‘glorifies violence’. 

Trump’s statement that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ is now hidden by a warning that it violated Twitter’s rules – but the message can be bypassed and the tweet remains live. 

The president had used Twitter to intervene in the riots which erupted for a third night running following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had gasped for breath as a police officer knelt on his head. 

Trump’s 1am tweet described the looters as ‘thugs’ and warned that the federal government would ‘assume control’ with ‘shooting’ if necessary after protesters set fire to a police precinct. 

But Twitter put a warning on the tweet less than three hours later, saying it had ‘taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts’. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was informed in advance.  

The tweet can no longer be liked or replied to and will not be recommended by Twitter’s algorithm, although retweets with comment are still possible – with Trump’s message initially hidden. 

It is still possible to override the warning message and view the tweet, under special rules for government officials which protect the public’s right to know what their politicians have said.  

Trump has feuded with the social media site in recent days for fact-checking his tweets and renewed his attack on the website on Thursday night – even saying that he would shut it down if he could. 

The president signed an order seeking to strip social media giants of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits- but backed Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg who distanced himself from Twitter.

Twitter had put a fact-checking label on two of Trump’s tweets on Tuesday which claimed that mail-in voting in the 2020 election would be ‘substantially fraudulent’. 

Twitter today added its second warning to a Donald Trump tweet in four days by covering the president’s message about the Minneapolis riots with a comment that it ‘glorifies violence’

President Donald Trump renewed his attack with Twitter on Thursday night, doubling down on his feud with the social media site for fact-checking his tweets. It came after the president signed an executive order which will attempt to dilute key legal protections for Twitter – and unloaded on the platform and social media.

Trump’s comment on the Minneapolis protests (pictured last night) that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ is now hidden by a warning that it violated Twitter’s rules – but the message can be bypassed and the tweet remains live

Trump’s 1am tweet described the looters as ‘thugs’ and warned that the federal government would ‘assume control’ with ‘shooting’ if necessary after protesters set fire to a police precinct.

What is Donald Trump’s executive order targeting social media sites? 

Donald Trump signed an order on Thursday seeking to make social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook liable for the content posted by their users. 

If enforced, the order would overturn decades of precedent by treating the websites as ‘publishers’ which could be sued for user-generated content. 

It could open them up to a flood of lawsuits from anyone who claims to be harmed by content posted online. 

Currently, the sites are protected by a law known as Section 230 which shields them from liability.  

Section 230 also allows social platforms to moderate their services by removing posts that, for instance, are obscene or violate the services’ own standards, so long as they are acting in ‘good faith.’

The author of a book about Section 230 said social media firms have ‘based their business models on being large platforms for user content’, saying they would not ‘exist in their current forms’ without the legislation.   

However, critics argue that Section 230 gives internet companies a free pass on things like hate speech and content that supports terror organizations.  

Trump signed the order after Twitter placed fact-check warnings on two of his tweets about mail-in voting on Tuesday. 

Republican senator Josh Hawley said the ‘censorship’ was relevant to Trump’s proposal, because websites which ‘editorialize and censor’ as Twitter allegedly did should be ‘treated like traditional publishers’ in law.  

However, critics saw Trump’s order as an act of political revenge against websites which he has long accused of political bias. 

The American Civil Liberties Union called Trump’s order ‘a blatant and unconstitutional threat to punish social media companies that displease the president.’ 

One ACLU official said the measure could actually harm Trump by encouraging a more cautious Twitter to limit the president’s tweets. 

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, said the order is ‘not legally enforceable’.  

Twitter said the order was a political move which attacked free speech, while Facebook said the measure would ‘encourage platforms to censor anything that might offend anyone’. 

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