Twitter Censors Official White House Account

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

After censoring President Donald Trump’s personal account, Twitter has now censored the official account of the White House as well.

Earlier today, Twitter censored a message from President Trump condemning rioters in Minneapolis, hiding Trump’s tweet behind a notice that falsely alleges it “glorifies violence.”

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.” said Trump in his now-censored tweet. “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!”

The tweet did not “glorify violence,” but instead condemned violent rioters, threatening the use of military force if the violent unrest continued.

In a comment to Breitbart News, Twitter confirmed that the last part of the tweet (“when the looting starts, the shooting starts”) was the part that breached its policies. But if the threat of military force in the face of violence is a breach, then many other world leaders stand to fall foul of the platform’s policies.

Twitter has now censored an identical tweet from the official White House Twitter account, @WhiteHouse.

In response, the White House condemned Twitter, saying “The President did not glorify violence. He clearly condemned it.”

“[Jack Dorsey] and Twitter’s biased, bad-faith “fact-checkers” have made it clear: Twitter is a publisher, not a platform.”

The White House also drew attention to tweets from the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, which encouraged acts of terrorism against Israel. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) raised the same issues in a letter to Twitter this weke.

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,” said the White House. “However, @Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform.”

Outgoing Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell echoed the White House, saying that Jack Dorsey “allows the promotion of violence on Twitter.”

Twitter said the notice on the White House, and Trump’s tweet was due to the “historical context” around the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“The Tweets violate 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,” said a Twitter spokesman.

“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance. As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”

The company confirmed that this is the first time it has applied what it calls a “public interest notice” to President Trump’s tweets.

The spokesman did directly not address Ayatollah Khamenei’s tweets, but according to Twitter, “foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address allumbokhari@protonmail.com

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.

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