President Trump had tweeted on Friday, saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, in reference to the protests that followed the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by the police in Minnesota.
KanyiDaily had reported how George Floyd died during arrest on Monday, after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as the black man repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”
On Thursday night, the protests which have been going on since on Tuesday escalated in Minnesota, as anger over Floyd’s death intensified, with some demonstrators gaining access to a police precinct in Minneapolis and setting sections of the building on fire.
Reacting to the protest on Twitter, Trump described the demonstrators as “THUGS,” while suggesting military intervention and warning that there would be additional violence if looting continued.
“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..”
“….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!”
Twitter flagged the second tweet with a disclaimer saying: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” allowing the public to still view the tweet by clicking on “View”.
This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today. https://t.co/sl4wupRfNH
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
In a thread, Twitter said it had taken the action “in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts”.
People will still “be able to retweet with comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it”. It also added a link to its rules and policies, in which Twitter defines what it deems to be in public interest.
KanyiDaily also recalls that Twitter had on Tuesday placed a “fact check” warning on two of Trump’s tweets, after the US President made unsubstantiated claims that California’s mail-in voting was full of fraud.