Updated May 29, 2020 - Technology

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter appended a message to a Trump tweet about civil unrest saying it violated policies covering violence
Screenshot: Axios

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

  • "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence," the company said in text that now accompanies the tweet. "However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."
  • The decision to label Trump's tweet was made by teams within Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey was informed of the plan before the tweet was labeled, Twitter told Axios.
  • The official White House account later tweeted the same text from Trump's tweet, causing Twitter to place the same restrictions on that tweet.

The big picture: Earlier in the day, President Trump signed an executive order with an aim of trying to limit legal protections afforded to social media sites, including Twitter. A host of civil rights groups, business organizations, tech lobbies and politicians criticized the president's move, contending he shouldn't — and legally couldn't — regulate how Twitter handles speech issues.

  • Twitter announced a policy a year ago that, in most cases, said Twitter would label but not delete tweets from political leaders that violate its rules.
  • This week, the company labeled a Trump tweet for the first time, flagging two election-related tweets as potentially misleading and pointing readers to a Twitter moment discussing the realities of mail-in voting.
  • Friday's action was stronger, though. To see the Minnesota tweet now you have to click through a warning versus just a small note attached to the election-related tweet pointing to a fact check.
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