Twitter suppressed another tweet sent from President Donald Trump on Tuesday, accusing the commander in chief of violating the platform’s “abusive behavior” policy when he warned that attempts to set up an “autonomous zone” in Washington, D.C., would be “met with serious force.”
What are the details?
President Trump wrote, “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”
Twitter covered the message with a label requiring users to click a button to read it with a warning that read, “We’ve placed a public policy interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”
During a riot Monday night outside the White House, protesters unsuccessfully tried to topple a statue of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson, attacked police, and vandalized property while declaring the area a “Black House Autonomous Zone” in an attempt to set up a cop-free anarchist occupation similar to the CHOP/CHAZ in Seattle.
But police were able to eventually diffuse the situation, and continued to remove stragglers attempting to set up a BHAZ camp the next day.
Twitter has targeted the president’s messaging on its platform before. Last month, the tech giant issued a similar warning when President Trump decried the violence and looting in the early days of the George Floyd riots and declared, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
But critics say Twitter is not being consistent in its censorship. Omri Ceren, the national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said the platform’s content policing “isn’t sustainable,” pointing out that Twitter allowed a series of tweets from Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, directly threatening violence against Israel.