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Twitter flags Trump tweet about Minneapolis protests for inciting violence

The US President suggested the military could shoot at protestors in Minneapolis in the tweet

Donald Trump CREDIT: Doug Mills/The New York Times
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A tweet from Donald Trump has been flagged by Twitter for breaking the social media network sites rules and inciting violence.

The US President had weighed into the situation in Minneapolis, where protestors have clashed with police over the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted. “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…..”

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In a second post, he added: “These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to [Minnesota] Governor Tim Waltz 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 have since added a label to the tweet, which users must click on to be able to see Trump’s words. “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,” the tag explains. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Trump responded to the label by accusing Twitter of allowing “China [and] the Radical Left Democrat Party” to share “lies and propaganda” unchecked. “They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States,” he wrote. “Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!”

The tweet in question is still visible on Trump’s profile, but cannot be liked or replied to. Users are still able to retweet it, but only if they add their own comment. In a statement given to the New York Times, the social media company said it had made the decision “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts” is a quote from Miami Police Chief Walter E. Headley, who made the comment in 1967 while announcing a “get tough” policy on black neighbourhoods.

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on Monday (May 25) when a white police officer appeared to kneel on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The four officers involved have all lost their jobs but none have been charged with Floyd’s death, sparking protests in Minneapolis and across the US.

Members of the music and film communities have shown their support to the Minnesota Freedom Fund in the wake of the protests, which is providing access to bail money for protestors who have been arrested.

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