President Trump targeted Twitter (TWTR) with an executive order focused on ‘online censorship’ on Thursday. The President also said made sure to note it would apply “whether you’re looking at Google, whether you’re looking at Facebook and perhaps others.”
Then, early Friday morning, Trump tweeted about the protests in Minneapolis. While talking about the federal government’s role, he wrote that “[a]ny difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The company quickly placed a warning label on the tweet saying it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.” The tweet remains viewable but with a warning, per Twitter’s rules about leaving up tweets from public figures.
It’s worth noting that Trump has also pushed an identical message on other social media platforms where, in another example of the differing ways that social media giants are handling the issue, they remain available with no special warning.
The president’s Instagram post went up overnight shortly after the tweet. This morning, it has no special warning and has over 250,000 likes. Instagram is owned by Facebook (FB).
Trump also posted the message to Facebook itself where, likewise, it remains up without any special labeling.
Another platform where the Trump often posts screenshots of his tweets is his Snapchat account (SNAP) but, as of about 9 a.m., the president had not added the Minneapolis message to Snapchat.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, has talked in recent days about how his company approaches controversial posts differently.
“We have a different policy I think than Twitter on this” he said in a Fox News interview saying “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”
He added, “I certainly think our policies have distinguished us from some of the other tech companies in terms of being stronger on free expression and giving people a voice than a lot of others out there.”
.@Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is today criticizing Twitter. “We have a different policy than Twitter on this. I believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.” Did Twitter criticize Obama for his “you can keep your Dr.”?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
On Friday morning, the official White House Twitter account tweeted Trump’s message that had earned a warning label.
“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!” https://t.co/GDwAydcAOw
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 29, 2020
In the first 40 minutes after it was posted, that tweet had not yet earned the same warning from Twitter.
Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.
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