Twitter covered a tweet from President Donald Trump on Friday and charged him with “glorifying abuse” violating his rules after he tweeted that looters should be fired at Minneapolis protests.
At a period of racially charged civil protests in cities across the United States, Twitter ‘s decision to step in is worsening a feud between Trump and tech firms.
It came just hours after Trump signed an executive order that threatened social media firms in Silicon Valley with new regulations about free speech.
“…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!” Trump’s tweet read.
Trump’s message can now only be read after you click on a notice that says, “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.”
After days of protests in Minneapolis, where peaceful demonstrations gave way to a third night of arson, theft and vandalism, Trump released his tweet as demonstrators vented their anger over Floyd ‘s death, a black man captured on video gasping for breath while a white policeman knelt on his stomach.
Four police officers who were involved in the death of Floyd were shot and the FBI is investigating.
The shooting in recent months has been one of many killings of black men in the U.S. that has caused outrage. The night sky in Minneapolis was filled with flames from a police station that had been torched overnight.
There were also sympathy protests in other U.S. cities as well. Police reported seven people were shot in Louisville , Kentucky, and at least one was in critical condition. There, demonstrators vented anger over another police murder of Breonna Taylor, a black woman fatally shot in March during a search in her apartment.
The mayor of Louisville has asked the FBI to review the findings of an investigation of Taylor’s death by a police public integrity unit, when it is complete.
In a thread Twitter said it had taken action over the Trump tweet “to prevent others from being inspired to commit acts of violence.”
People will still “be able to retweet with comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it.”