Twitter Hides Trump’s Tweet for ‘Glorifying Violence’

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Twitter issued a warning about one of President Donald Trump’s tweets very early on Friday morning. The tweet was hidden from view with a note that it violated Twitter’s rules about “glorifying violence.” In the tweet about the riots in Minneapolis, Trump wrote, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” As a result of Twitter’s public interest notice, people can retweet the message with a comment, but they can’t like the tweet, reply to it, or simply retweet it.

Prior to this, Twitter posted a fact check on a different tweet by Trump, but this was the first public interest notice warning about glorifying violence.


Twitter Warned that the Tweet Violated the Site’s Rules & Hid It from View on the Timeline

Trump’s tweet was part of a series of tweets about rioting in Minneapolis. He wrote: “….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 response to the tweet, Twitter posted a warning and hid the tweet from view on the timeline.

Twitter

If you click “View” you can see the tweet, but the warning still remains above it.

Twitter

Twitter wrote about the tweet in its notice: “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.”

The tweet was the second of a set of tweets he made about the rioting in Minneapolis. The first tweet read: “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..”

Twitter

Twitter later shared more about its warning, writing: “We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from @realdonaldtrump.”

The Twitter Comms account went on to explain what a public interest notice means.

Twitter wrote:

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.”

If you try to like the tweet, you’ll get the following warning:

Twitter

The warning reads: “Why can’t you Like this? We try to prevent a Tweet like this that otherwise breaks the Twitter Rules from reaching more people, so we have disabled most of the ways to engage with it. If you want to talk about it, you can still Retweet with comment.”

If you try to retweet the message, you’ll only receive a “Retweet with comment” option.

Twitter

If you try to reply to the tweet, you’ll see a warning very similar to the “Why can’t you Like this?” warning.

Twitter

Clicking on “Learn more” brings you to a page titled “Our range of enforcement options,” which provides more details about Twitter’s action. Twitter says it can take enforcement actions on a specific tweet or on an entire account if the behavior violates Twitter Rules. Interestingly, Twitter notes that it hides a tweet while waiting for a tweet to be removed. Twitter writes: “In the interim period between when Twitter takes enforcement action and the person removes the Tweet, we hide that Tweet from public view and will replace the original content with a notice stating that the Tweet is no longer available because it violated our Rules. Additionally, this notice will be available for 14 days after Tweet removed.” However, as in Trump’s case, a tweet might not be hidden if there’s a public interest exception. ” In rare cases, we may determine that it is in the public interest for a Tweet that would otherwise be in violation of our rules to remain accessible on our service… When we make such an exception, we’ll place the Tweet behind a notice explaining the exception and giving you the option to view the Tweet if you wish.”

Twitter notes that in addition to turning off retweets, replies, and comments, it also won’t show any engagement counts (such as number of likes or replies), although prior engagement can be undone. Previous replies before the tweet was hidden also won’t be viewable. Tweets with this notice also won’t be seen on the Top Tweets Home timeline, in safe search, in certain recommendations, on a live event timeline, or on the explore tab.

These details are all included in a section on the Enforcement Options page called: “Hiding a violating Tweet while awaiting its removal.” The paragraph prior to this section, which is about Requiring Tweet removal, states: “When we determine that a Tweet violated the Twitter Rules, we require the violator to remove it before they can Tweet again. We send an email notification to the violator identifying the Tweet(s) in violation and which policies have been violated. They will then need to go through the process of removing the violating Tweet or appealing our review if they believe we made an error.”

It’s not clear if this means that Twitter has disabled Trump’s ability to tweet until the hidden tweet is removed. Trump has not tweeted since the tweet was hidden.

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