Twitter on Friday announced that a tweet by President Donald Trump glorified violence and violated the company’s policies. The company did not remove the tweet, however.
“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” the company announced when it added a public interest notice to the post.
With fires burning in Minneapolis during a third night of protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Trump threatened to call in the National Guard, labeled the protesters “thugs” and said Mayor Jacob Frey had lost control over the city.
Protesters are demanding that the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest be charged. Looting and fires have been widespread in the area where Floyd died Monday.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.
Earlier, the president signed an executive order asking federal regulators to revisit the 1996 law that protects websites from liability for what their users post.
The move came days after Twitter added a fact-check label to a pair of Trump’s tweets for the first time earlier in the week. The message included a link directing users to a page with news reports debunking the tweets, in which Trump claimed there was “NO WAY” an election with boosted mail-in voting would be legitimate.
A representative for Twitter told NBC News this week that those tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” The spokesperson added that the company rolled out a policy this month to combat misinformation.
Trump said he issued the executive order as a way to safeguard free speech.
“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly, and you know what’s going on as well as anybody,” Trump said. “It’s not good.”
“They’ve had unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,” he added.