Twitter censors Trump’s tweet targeting protesters, tags it ‘abusive’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Tech giant Twitter, again, has hidden a tweet from United States (US) President Donald Trump in which he threatened to use “serious force” against protestors in the US capital, Washington, D.C., saying it broke rules over abusive content on the social media platform.

The city of Washington has the same boundaries as the District of Columbia, a federal territory established in 1790 as the site of the new nation’s permanent capital.

Agency report says the move Tuesday, June 23 appeared to be the first by Twitter against Trump for an “abusive” tweet.

In a growing dispute between the US President and Silicon Valley tech giants, the platform has recently labelled other Trump tweets as misleading and violating its standards on promoting violence.

The US President had tweeted: “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!”

It was learnt that Twitter’s action requires users to click through to read the Trump tweet, with a tag on the message that it “violated the Twitter rules about abusive behaviour”, but that it would remain visible “in the public’s interest.”

Trump’s tweet referred to the police-free district created by protesters in Seattle, in Washington State, two weeks ago, which has sparked outrage among conservatives.

Twitter’s move escalated the battle between the White House and social media firms which Trump has accused of bias against conservatives, despite his own large following.

The president has already signed an executive order which could lead to more government oversight of social media companies, despite doubts about its legal authority.

Besides, the Trump administration has said it wants to overhaul a law that gives online services immunity from content posted by others, a move which could open the floodgates to litigation.

Twitter said in a statement to AFP that it took the action Tuesday because the tweet violated its policy against abusive behaviour with “a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”

Twitter’s policy in dealing with world leaders in most cases calls for violating messages to be labelled, which limits its reach and prevents others from liking or retweeting it.

However, the firm leaves the tweets available because if they relate to “ongoing matters of public importance,” stated the report.

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