Twitter has made the unprecedented move of censoring one of the president’s tweets claiming that it violated the site’s terms of service. Twitter users can no longer “like, retweet, or comment” on the post.
UPDATE: President Trump has responded to Twitter’s latest act of censorship
Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
In what can only be direct retaliation for the president’s recently announced Executive Order wherein he promised to take action against tech censorship, Twitter has fired a major shot across the president’s bow by censoring one of his tweets, blocking comments on it, and disabling the ability of individuals to retweet it. Twitter has recently experimented with putting “fact-checking” bubbles under the President’s tweets, but actually cutting off users’ ability to retweet, like and comment on Trump’s tweet was previously completely unheard of.
In an address earlier today, President Trump promised to create an online environment where free speech and the diversity of ideas—the only diversity that matters—can prosper. For those interested, we put together a brief summary where you can read about the Executive Order and see a breakdown of its provisions.
“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!”
In order to access this tweet, users must go directly to Donald Trump’s Twitter profile and opt-in to view the contents.
“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. Learn more.”
This step, which Twitter has haphazardly taken, is perhaps the only thing that will guarantee that the president will not let up his crusade against tech censorship. Countless members of his base have seen their accounts banned, suspended, and isolated using algorithms built around Twitter’s political bias. But, love him or hate him, President Trump will not let his own account be tampered with. It can be guaranteed now that he will take every action possible to safeguard speech online. This battle is just beginning.
The decision to lock this tweet down seems to have come directly from the top, with Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, retweeting a Twitter Comms bulletin about their decision to censor the leader of the “free” world.
Twitter’s Communications team has issued the following statement regarding their decision:
“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today. 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. As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”