At around one in the morning eastern time, Donald Trump posted a tweet in which he threatened to send troops to Minneapolis and have them start shooting people. This set off a firestorm of controversy, as it was violently deranged even by his standards, and it came at a particularly combustible moment.
Then Twitter did something it’s never done to Trump before: it hid his violent tweet from view, replacing it with a warning message about “glorifying violence.” Users can still click through to see Trump’s original tweet if they want, but by default it’s gone from the timeline; it doesn’t even display on Trump’s own page. Comments, likes, and retweets have also been limited for the tweet in question. Now Twitter is explaining why it made the move.
The official “Twitter Safety” account posted this: “We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from
@realDonaldTrump. 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.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report