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President Trump's director of social media and deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino tweeted Friday that "Twitter is full of s--t" after the platform determined that one of the president's tweets in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules.

Why it matters: Scavino is the "caretaker of Trump's explosive Twitter feed," as Politico reported last year, and the president relies on him for advice on how some of the administration's most controversial moves will be received on social media.

  • Trump's late-night tweet threatened shooting in response to the Minneapolis protests and was subsequently limited in its reach by the platform.
  • Twitter found that it "violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence," the company said in text that now accompanies it. "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' Ina Fried.

What he said:

"Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform. Twitter is full of s--t - more and more people are beginning to get it."
— Dan Scavino

The big picture: The battle is part of a larger war between the Trump administration and Twitter, which kicked off when the company issued its first fact-check against the president earlier this week.

  • Trump then signed an executive order Thursday with an aim of trying to limit legal protections afforded to social media sites, though the move was slammed by tech, business and civil rights groups.

Go deeper

Sep 4, 2020 - Technology

Tech's ever-growing deepfake problem

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The run-up to the U.S. presidential election is also speeding up the arrival of a tipping point for digital fakery in politics, Axios' Ashley Gold reports.

What's happening: As the election, a pandemic and a national protest movement collide with new media technology, this political moment is accelerating the proliferation and evolution of deliberately deceptive media, leaving companies struggling to enforce often-vague policies.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.

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