U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office before signing an executive order related to regulating social media on May 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump’s executive order could lead to attempts to punish companies such as Twitter and Google for attempting to point out factual inconsistencies in social media posts by politicians.
Doug Mills | Pool | Getty Images
Twitter on Tuesday once again placed a label over one of President Donald Trump’s tweets, claiming he violated the platform’s policies against abusive behavior.
Trump’s tweet said that those who try to create an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., “will be met with serious force.” Twitter claims the tweet violates its rules because it includes a “threat of harm against an identifiable group.”
The tweet came after a group of protesters on Monday unsuccessfully attempted to pull down a statute of former President Andrew Jackson near the White House. The protesters later tried to claim an area near Black Lives Matter Plaza as a “Black House Autonomous Zone,” The Washington Post reported, before police removed them.
Protesters in Seattle began occupying an autonomous zone in the city earlier this month as the police department pulled officers out of a local precinct.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded on Twitter, “Let’s be clear about what just happened. Twitter labeled it ‘abusive behavior’ for the President of the United States to say that he will enforce the law. Twitter says it is ‘abusive’ to prevent rioters from forcibly seizing territory to set up a lawless zone in our capital.”
Recently, Twitter has been more actively enforcing its content policies against the president. Those policies include a special carve-out that allows Twitter to flag tweets from world leaders that violate its standards while leaving the tweets intact so they can be seen by the public.
Twitter usually removes similar tweets if they’re posted by other users. The company has said it believes messages from world leaders are in the public interest, so it places a warning obscuring the message to users until they click through.
Twitter slapped a fact-check label on two of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots for the first time last month. Shortly after, Twitter placed a warning label over another tweet that it said violated its policies about glorifying violence.
Trump lashed out against Twitter for the initial fact-check label, introducing an executive order a couple days later that would seek to weaken the liability shield protecting Twitter and other platforms from legal responsibility for their users’ posts. Though the executive order is highly limited in power without legislative change, the move was widely seen as retaliation for Twitter’s actions on Trump’s tweets.