Screenshot: Axios

As Facebook employees criticized the company for not moving against Trump's posts, Twitter took more action Monday against those using its platform to promote violence.

Driving the news: The company suspended a fake Antifa account linked to a white nationalist group and also flagged a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that it said glorified violence.

Why it matters: The moves show that Twitter, long criticized for failing to crack down on tweets that violate its policies, is taking a more aggressive stance.

Driving the news:

  • Twitter said it had traced the account behind a widely cited tweet calling for violence on Sunday, "ANTIFA_US," to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa.
  • Twitter added a warning label to a tweet from Gaetz that said: "Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?"

Context: As protests about the death of George Floyd spread nationwide over the past week, President Trump and his allies began charging, without evidence, that antifa — a label for a variety of far-left anti-fascist groups and activists — were responsible for the unrest.

Our thought bubble: When an account labeled "antifa" turns out to be controlled by a white supremacist group, it's a reminder that things online aren't necessarily what they appear to be — and that a lot of parties see benefit in spreading divisive lies.

The big picture: Twitter's moves come on top of the company's decision last week to flag two tweets from President Trump, one for potentially misleading people on the mechanics of mail-in voting and another for glorifying violence.

  • After Twitter's action on the mail-in voting tweet, Trump issued an executive order designed to curb the power of social networks to curate speech.

Yes, but: Many people on the left feel Twitter hasn't gone far enough and should delete Trump's offending posts, if not his account entirely. Some on the right, meanwhile, view Twitter's actions as censorship.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 4, 2020 - Technology

Zuckerberg warns of post-election violence

Mark Zuckerberg tells "Axios on HBO" that Facebook is imposing new election rules to deter use of the platform to spread of misinformation and even violence, and to help voters see the results as "legitimate and fair."

Driving the news: The new measures, announced Thursday, include throwing a flag on posts by candidates who claim premature victory, and forbidding new ads within a week of Election Day.

Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

Facebook will ban new political ads a week before Election Day

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday that it will no longer accept new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day. It will also label posts from candidates who claim victory prematurely and will direct users to the official results.

Why it matters: It's the most aggressive effort Facebook has made to date to curb manipulation in the days leading up to the U.S. election.

Jimmy Carter says he's used absentee ballots for more than five years

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia on April 28, 2019. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement in support of absentee ballots on Thursday, saying that he has "been using them for more than five years."

Driving the news: Attorney General Bill Barr in a CNN interview on Wednesday referenced a 2005 report from the Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Carter, that said absentee ballots "remain the largest source of potential voter fraud," to argue that concerns about mail-in voting predate President Trump's push against it.