OAKLAND, California – Days after Twitter restricted one of President Trump’s posts for glorifying violence from the point of view, Twitter went into it again.
On Monday, the social media service used the same label to hide a message from Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, comparing those who protested police violence to terrorists and hunted them down. The move also meant that the tweet could not be retweeted or liked to prevent it from being amplified.
“Now that we see Antifa clearly as terrorists, can we hunt them like we do in the Middle East?”
Twitter had a duel with the president last week after labeling two of his tweets with fact-checking labels and then restricting a post in which Mr. Trump said that looting during the protests would result in gunfire. While the company in San Francisco was welcomed by some for taking more responsibility for the types of posts that appear on its platform, others said it was biased against conservatives like Mr. Trump.
Nevertheless, Twitter acted again and hid Mr. Gaetz’s post behind a warning sign – although he did not write all of his message down.
“The tweet violates our policy of glorifying violence,” said a Twitter spokesman.
Twitter announced a labeling system last year that would mark tweets from public figures who violated its guidelines, while allowing the news to be preserved because of significant public interest.
However, the system was only used to report news from U.S. politicians on Friday when Mr. Trump charged the clashes between police and protesters in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody. Mr. Trump tweeted: “When the looting begins, the shootout begins. “
After Twitter added the label to the message that it violated its policies to glorify violence, the official White House Twitter account republished Mr. Trump’s tweet. Twitter also hid this tweet. The term was used by a Miami police chief in the 1960s who was largely condemned by civil rights groups.
Earlier last week, the company had relied on a separate anti-election policy to label two of Trump’s tweets with a fact-checking label that he falsely claimed that postal ballot papers for the November election were illegally distributed and would result in widespread election fraud.
In response to Twitter’s actions, Mr. Trump released last Thursday has signed an executive order to remove liability from social media companies for the content published on their websites. The Implementing Regulation specifically targets a law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Technology companies have argued that the law is essential to their business. However, some lawmakers have stated that companies have uncontrolled power and have proposed changes to the law. According to experts, Mr. Trump’s order is likely to face significant legal challenges.
Twitter has criticized that it is inconsistent with the labels. On Monday, Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas republican, also posted on Twitter calling for military action against protests. He added: “Not a quarter for insurgents, anarchists, rioters and looters.”
Some people argued that the tweet also glorified violence and asked Twitter to remove it, but the company said Mr. Cotton’s post did not violate his rules.
“It is never possible to be fully in line with a language policy. You have to draw lines somewhere and the lines will always be a bit arbitrary,” said James Grimmelmann, a law professor at Cornell University. “There is no apolitical position.”
Cecilia Kang contributed to the coverage from Washington.