President Trump says Twitter employees misunderstood his intent when deciding to censor a Friday morning tweet that said looting may lead to shooting in Minnesota.
Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that he was stating “as a fact” that looting could lead to violence, rather than advocating for it.
“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night — or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot,” Trump wrote.
“I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means,” he continued. “It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”
Twitter masked the morning tweet, saying its commentary on riots over the police killing of Floyd broke a rule against “glorifying violence.” The action escalated tension between Trump and his preferred social media network.
The tweet was reposted Friday morning on the official White House account, and again was censored.
Trump’s now-masked message says: “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!”
A Twitter spokesperson declined to respond to Trump’s latest tweets, directing The Post to an earlier statement on the company’s actions, which said, “We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from @realdonaldtrump.”
The dispute has significant policy implications in Washington.
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that he wants to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which allows internet platforms immunity for user-generated content. A day earlier, Trump signed an executive order requesting regulations that say immunity doesn’t apply when platforms are “engaged in editorial conduct” and “censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike.”
Democrats including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden also support repealing Section 230, arguing the law allows “falsehoods” to go viral, though civil libertarians in both parties and tech companies strongly support the provision.
Trump’s brawl with Twitter began this week when the company added fact-check warnings to a pair of the president’s tweets that said mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud.
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