An official Twitter “moment” described the violent riots and looting that broke out in Minneapolis and other areas of the country with the muted term “heated protests,” in an entry created by Twitter employees that appeared at the top of users’ feeds.
The headline reads “Heated protests continue across the US as thousands demand justice for George Floyd.”
Clicking through to the Moment reveals that the “heated protests” in fact consist of looting and rioting, with the description reading “Protests have erupted across the country over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who suffocated when he was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. Minnesota declared a state of emergency amid looting and rioting in Minneapolis, while more protests mount in New York, Denver and other cities.”
The snippet, known as a “Twitter Moment” is currently being delivered to the top of many users’ Twitter feeds in the “what’s happening” tab. It also currently appears at the top of the “explore” tab, giving it a great deal of visibility to Twitter’s users.
This comes on the same day that Twitter censored one of the President’s tweets, in which Trump warned that continued rioting and looting would be met with military force. Twitter said that tweet “glorified violence” — yet it has taken no action against worse tweets from other world leaders, such as the Supreme Leader of Iran calling for terrorist violence against Israel.
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) May 29, 2020
This comes after Twitter falsely “fact checked” one of the President’s tweets expressing widely-held concerns about voter fraud with mail-in ballots. It has not applied similar fact-checks to numerous proven falsehoods from the President’s presumptive election opponent, Joe Biden, and has dragged its feet on fact-checking conspiracy theories and propaganda from communist China.
While Twitter took just a few hours to fact-check the President’s tweets, it took over twelve hours to add a warning label to a hoax photo of the Minnesota police officer who killed George Floyd, which was doctored to make it appear that the officer once wore a hat bearing the slogan “Make Whites Great Again.” The photo went viral on Twitter, accumulating over 40,000 retweets on the same day that violent riots broke out in Minneapolis.
Twitter is facing mounting condemnation from American leaders and politicians over the past few days, including from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the President himself.
Action is being taken. Sen. Cruz has called for a criminal investigation against Twitter for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran, while Rep. Gaetz, in addition to drafting a bill to address Big Tech bias, has said he will report Twitter to the Federal Election Commission for election interference.
Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at tackling Big Tech bias. The order directs the FCC to issue new directives narrowing the boundaries of Big Tech companies’ special legal immunities, and will establish a system for Americans to report acts of censorship and political bias to the Federal Trade Commission among other measures.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.