White House Says Twitter Lets Terrorists and Dictators ‘Abuse Its Platform,’ as Ted Cruz Calls for Criminal Investigation Into Site

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Twitter is dealing with backlash from the White House and Republican lawmakers after the social media web site warned that considered one of President Donald Trump’s posts violated its guidelines about glorifying violence.

On Friday morning, the White House account fired off a collection of tweets defending Trump and criticizing Twitter for permitting “terrorists, dictators and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform.”

This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, @Twitter has decided that it’s going to permit terrorists, dictators, and overseas propagandists to abuse its platform. pic.twitter.com/5Qi0m66Vnh

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 29, 2020

The White House tweet included a photograph to a earlier social media submit from Iranian chief Ali Khamenei, saying that his tweet had additionally glorified violence however wasn’t flagged by the positioning.

In response to the White House’s tweet, a Twitter spokesperson pointed to an October 2019 weblog submit on the corporate’s method to world leaders. The submit stated that “direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

The president’s tweet was concerning the riots in Minneapolis over the loss of life of George Floyd. Floyd died on Monday after a white police officer pinned him to the bottom for a number of minutes. Floyd, who’s black, could be heard in a video of the arrest saying “I can’t breathe.” Demonstrations started within the state on Tuesday as protesters search legal expenses in opposition to the law enforcement officials concerned in Floyd’s arrest.

On Thursday night time, Trump tweeted that “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter’s official communications deal with stated that the president’s submit “violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

A warning label was positioned on the president’s tweet. The label conceals the tweet by default on a consumer’s timeline and can solely let a consumer learn the submit by manually opening it.

The White House got here to Trump’s protection on Friday morning by retweeting his controversial submit with the caption: “The President did not glorify violence. He clearly condemned it.” Again, the president’s tweet was accompanied by the identical warning label.

White House Says Twitter Lets Terrorists and Dictators 'Abuse Its Platform,' as Ted Cruz Calls for Criminal Investigation Into Site
In this photograph illustration, a Twitter emblem is displayed on a cell phone with President Trump’s Twitter web page proven within the background on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. Twitter flagged a latest submit from President Trump’s account, saying it violated the positioning’s guidelines about glorifying violence. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

The tweets from the White House account got here simply after it was reported that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was calling for a legal investigation into the social media firm.

Cruz despatched a letter to the Justice Department and the Treasury Department on Friday encouraging them to launch a probe into whether or not Twitter is violating U.S. sanctions in opposition to Iran by permitting the nation’s leaders to have energetic accounts.

“I believe that the primary goal of (the International Emergency Economic Powers Act) and sanctions law should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies,” Cruz wrote.”But when an organization willfully and brazenly violates the regulation after receiving formal discover that it’s unlawfully supporting designated people, the federal authorities ought to take motion.

Newsweek reached out to Twitter for a response to Cruz’s name for an investigation, however the firm had no remark.