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Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

After Trump encourages shooting of 'thugs' in Minneapolis, Twitter gives him 'glorifying violence' warning


May. 29 2020, Updated 8:05 a.m. ET

Twitter has placed a warning on one of President Donald Trump's tweets, saying that he is "glorifying violence" after the president suggested that those involved in scenes of looting that have been seen in Minneapolis should be shot.

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Widespread anger in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd has led to peaceful protests. Unfortunately, grief and anger have given way to violence in some areas of the city. 

"Officers are giving dispersal orders to groups gathered in various areas of the city, damaging property and attempting to steal from businesses," the Saint Paul Police Department tweeted.

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In a further tweet, the Department added: "Officers are having rocks, liquor bottles and bricks thrown at them in the area of the Target on University Avenue. We are working to peacefully get the crowd to disperse."

On Thursday night, one of the city’s police stations was torched. 

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Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order to activate the Minnesota National Guard at the request of local leaders after "peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders."

President Trump responded to the scenes by suggesting that those involved should be shot.

"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let it 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!"

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Source: twitter

In response, Twitter placed a warning on Trump's tweet that reads: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

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This is the latest move in a row between President Trump and the social media platform.

"Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party," Trump wrote in response. "They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!"

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The disagreement began when President Trump shared misleading information about mail-in ballots.

"There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent," he wrote. "Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!" 

Source: twitter
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Source: twitter

Twitter marked the president's tweets with an alert that reads "get the facts about mail-in ballots." The alert links to a page that calls Trump's claims of voter fraud "unsubstantiated."

"On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic," Twitter wrote. "These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud."  

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The page points out: "Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to "a Rigged Election." However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud."

"Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to 'anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.' In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots."

"Five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting, according to NBC News."

The page links to several sources that disprove Trump's claims, including ABC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.

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President Trump didn't seem too happy with the correct, later taking to Twitter to rail against the social media platform.

["Twitter] is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election," he wrote. "They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

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President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday following the dispute. The order would allow social media sites to lose a shield that protects them from lawsuits for content that their users post online.

"A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States," President Trump claimed. "They've had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences."

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"In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet," the order says. "This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power."

It goes on to accuse social media platforms of "invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise punish Americans' speech here at home."

Facebook and Google said that the order would harm the Internet.

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"By exposing companies to potential liability for everything that billions of people around the world say, this would penalize companies that choose to allow controversial speech and encourage platforms to censor anything that might offend anyone," Facebook told CNN.

"Our platforms have empowered a wide range of people and organizations from across the political spectrum, giving them a voice and new ways to reach their audiences," Google added. "Undermining Section 230 in this way would hurt America's economy and its global leadership on internet freedom." 

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Twitter labelled it as "a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law."


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