Twitter Restricts President Trump’s Pro-Violence Tweet
One of the rarest feats in technology news just took place today. The social microblogging giant, Twitter, just restricted US President Donald Trump’s recent tweet, proving that he has finally crossed the line.
As per widespread user outrage, the firm placed a public interest notice on Trump’s tweet for breaking platform rules. The platform hid the tweet under said notice but didn’t remove the tweet altogether, for the sake of public interest.
In the tweet, he encouraged shooting looters in the Minneapolis area. He said that the protesters who need it were “dishonoring” the memory of George Floyd through this.
When the looting starts, the shooting starts. The familiar quote was from the former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley. Months before the riots emerged during the Republican National Convention in 1967, he said he didn’t mind the term police brutality.
Twitter’s support account stated that they hid the tweet because it might inspire others to commit violent acts. However, they kept the Tweet public because it’s still important to let the public know of its importance.
The firm labeled some of Trump’s tweets as potentially misleading earlier this week, for the first time in Twitter history.
Social Media and Section 230
As a response, Trump signed an executive order to limit legal protections for social media sites. This was under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which targeted internet-based modern technology companies.
Basically, the executive order would limit the internet law that prevents said platforms from being held accountable for user content. The Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission could now reinterpret the law to create a tool for users to report online users.
Now, the National Telecommunication and Information Administration has a maximum of two months for a proposal to the FCC.
The rush to approve the grounds for this law followed Trump posting false and misleading tweets this week. These tweets discussed the topic of mail-in voting and voter fraud. Twitter labeled said posts with a link to additional reporting about his comments.
Facebook was quick to comment on the matter, when a spokesperson said its platform was meant for “diverse views.”. The site claims that this violates section 230, which will also result in restricting more speech online, not less. They also warned about Trump’s move, which would penalize companies that choose to allow controversial speech or censor anything possibly offensive.
In an interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that no private company should be the “arbiter of truth.”
Twitter addressed the order on Thursday night. The platform said that Section 230 protects American freedom of expression and was underpinned by democratic values. The EO’s fruition would threaten the future of online speech, as well as internet freedoms.
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