For the second time this week Twitter flagged the content of a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump Friday, citing his early-morning comments criticizing the city of Minneapolis’ riot response for “glorifying violence.”
The death of George Floyd while in police custody sparked the third consecutive night of nationwide protests, and Minneapolis remained the epicenter of the unrest, culminating with the storming and burning by protesters of the city police department’s third precinct.
Just after midnight, Trump addressed the protests by admonishing the city’s “total lack of leadership” before threatening to authorize military intervention.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at Trump during a news conference.
“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else, during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this,” Frey said.
It was Trump’s second tweet in the series, however, that attracted Twitter’s attention:
“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 tweeted.
Within an hour, Twitter attached the following disclaimer to the president’s tweet, but did not remove the statement from the social media platform.
“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.”
Friday morning’s actions came less than one week after Twitter added fact-check warnings to two of Trump’s tweets calling mail-in-ballots “substantially fraudulent” and predicting a “Rigged Election,” The Associated Press reported. and only one day after the president signed an executive order aimed at limiting the broad legal protections enjoyed by social media companies, NPR reported.