Twitter partially concealed another message from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, calling it “abusive behavior” contrary to its policies of community use, in the latest episode of recent disagreements between the president and his favorite social network.
Trump posted the following message on his Twitter account, which has over 82 million followers: “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, DC while I am your president. If you try, you will find yourself a major force!
The president was referring in this way to the failed attempt on Monday by some demonstrators to knock down a statue of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) in front of the White House and to create an autonomous zone in the city that operates outside the police.
Twitter considered that the final part of the message, “you will find a significant force in front of you,” constitutes “abusive behavior” as it is “a threat of harm against an identifiable group.
He therefore proceeded to partially hide it with an abusive behaviour alert, so that the alert will be the first thing that other users see and, in case they still want to access the original message from the president, they will have to deliberately click on the “show” option.
In another message on the social network, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany criticized the decision and rejected the fact that Twitter labels as abusive behavior that the U.S. president “says he will use force to enforce the law” and to “prevent troublemakers from forcibly taking territory to enforce a lawless zone” in the capital.
The Blue Bird’s social network did the same with another tweet from the president on May 29, when it branded the protesters who took to the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to protest the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, as “thugs”, and tweeted that it “glorified violence”.
Only three days earlier, on May 26, Twitter had linked for the first time in its history a message from Trump with verified information that contradicted what he had posted, a procedure that is common in the social network but that until then had been reluctant to apply to the president.
Since then, there have been several occasions in which Twitter has partially hidden or added alerts to messages written or retweeted to by the president, who, in turn, has signed a decree aimed at assessing whether his government can punish social networks if they moderate the content published on their platforms.