The tug-of-war between the President of the United States, Donald Trump, and the social network Twitter has once again tensed up a bit more. This Tuesday, the microblogging social network once again “hidden” a tweet from the president, this time calling it “abusive behaviour.” This is the third Trump tweet that the company hides after it did the same with two Trump tweets in late May for “breaching Twitter’s Rules on glorifying violence,” in the context of racial protests by the George Floyd’s death, just days after Twitter flagged a “vote-by-mail” message from Trump as “potentially misleading.”
This time, the tweet in question is a message regarding a hypothetical “autonomous zone” in Washington DC “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington DC as long as I am your president. If they try, they will be met with serious force [in response] very serious! “reads the tweet. The message appears to refer to CHAZ, an “autonomous zone” taken by protesters in Seattle, “free from police.”
As you have done on previous occasions, the tweet is “hidden” at first glance, but has not been removed. That is, after a warning message, you can access the tweet and read the content, but it can neither be retweeted nor receive “likes”. The Twitter message that hides Trump’s original text reads: “This tweet violated the Twitter Rules on abusive behaviour. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible.”
It is not the first time that Trump refers to CHAZ (‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’), an area of about six blocks taken by protesters in the city of Seattle, which they organize as cooperative and “without policeman”. On June 11, he threatened Seattle councillor Jenny Durkan with a message on the social network: “Take your city back NOW. If you don’t, I will. This is not a game. These ugly anarchists must be IMMEDIATELY detained. ACT FAST!” The message has been removed.
Trump’s pulse with Twitter and other major social media companies has flared in recent months. Following Twitter’s decision to include a tag pointing to Trump tweets as misleading and recommending real “data,” Trump accused the microblogging social network of “controlling the speech.” Just a day later, the president signed an executive order that wants to endpoint 230 of the so-called Decency in Communications Law, which provides broad immunity to the websites that select and moderate the content of their own platforms giving them full authority to control the discourse that occurs in their network assuming that they seek neutrality.