Twitter has censored another post by US President Donald Trump, claiming that his warning against creating an ‘autonomous zone’ outside the White House constituted a ‘threat of harm’ and violated their policy against abusive behaviour.
The relevant Twitter post stated: “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, DC, as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Trump posted the remark after a large crowd of masked protesters tried setting up barricades in Lafayette Park, located near the White House. Graffiti at the site declared the area to be the ‘Black House Autonomous Zone,’ a reference to the infamous CHAZ/CHOP experiment in Seattle.
The president’s tweet was hidden behind a ‘public notice’ superimposed over the remark by the social media company, requiring users to confirm they wish to see it. The notice also disables liking or retweeting.
According to Twitter, Trump’s post violated the rules about “abusive behaviour” due to the “presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”
We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.https://t.co/AcmW6O6d4t
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) June 23, 2020
This is the second time Twitter has flagged one of Trump’s posts. On May 29, they censored his tweet about the riots in Minnesota, saying the post was “glorifying violence.”
Trump had tweeted “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
In addition to censoring Trump’s tweets aimed against the rioters, Twitter has also bowed to pressure from mainstream media outlets and deleted videos from several memes shared by the president, including one mocking CNN for fomenting racial hatred in America.
Twitter has also changed its logo from blue to black, and edited the description of the company’s official account to read “Black queer lives matter. Black trans lives matter. #BlackLivesMatter,” with its feed now consisting entirely of endorsements of the protests. LINK
The move is certain to further infuriate the US president, who has already taken steps to widen the powers of a federal regulatory agency to intervene in the policy decisions of social media platforms that the agency determines are violating the constitutional right to free speech.
In other developments in the US, several protesters are suing President Trump and other senior administration officials over their treatment during a George Floyd demonstration at Lafayette Square in Washington DC on 1 June.
The protesters have filed the suit, together with the Washington DC chapter of Black Lives Matter, alleging that their forced clearance from the area while peacefully protesting violated their constitutional rights.
The plaintiffs have made the complaint against Mr Trump, Attorney General William Barr, Defence Secretary Mark Esper and other heads of law enforcement that facilitated the clearing of protesters.
The lawsuit follows accusations that Mr Trump violently cleared peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square with tear gas and rubber bullets for a photo op at a local church.
The complaint details that the demonstrators are suing Mr Trump and others on the grounds of violation of First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly, Fourth Amendment rights to freedom from unreasonable seizure, and conspiracy to violate civil rights. LINK
While the incident at Lafayette Square has drawn widespread criticism over Mr Trump’s apparent willingness to use force and military power against protesters in situations where there is no violence or other infractions, many others claim that the police must be more forceful in quelling protests, particularly in the case of the ‘CHOP zone’ in Seattle.
While not apparent in most mainstream media reports, as reported by South Front there has been an explosion of accounts of widespread violence and brutality across the US as some individuals and groups seem to be taking advantage of the breakdown in social order to indulge in attacks against other people and property. LINK
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