Twitter took action for a second time against President Donald Trump’s tweets early Friday morning, attaching a warning label over the top of a late night Trump tweet about the protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd by police. Several hours after the tweet was posted, the company placed a disclaimer over the second portion of the two-tweet statement by the president, saying its content violated the company’s terms of service prohibiting the glorification of violence. Users can click past the warning label to view Trump’s tweet in full, which calls protesters “thugs,” says Trump told the Minnesota governor that the “military is with him all the way,” and states “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Twitter stated that its decision to attach the warning label was “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.” Trump’s line about looting and shooting, the New York Times notes, echoes the sentiments of “Walter E. Headley, the Miami police chief who attracted national attention in the late 1960s for using shotguns, dogs and a heavy-handed ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy to fight crime in the city’s black neighborhoods.” “We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting,” Headley said in a 1967 news conference, “because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
On Friday morning, Trump woke up and responded:
The move to rein Trump’s rhetoric on the platform comes shortly after Twitter, for the first time, added fact-check labels to two Trump tweets vilifying mail-in voting. In response, Trump issued an executive order Thursday that could remove social media companies’ liability protections for what’s posted on their sites.
For more on Trump’s war with Twitter, listen to What Next: TBD.