Having previously hidden US President Donald Trump’s threat of “serious force” to statue-toppling rioters, Twitter is staying silent after he retweeted an FBI poster of the wanted vandals and said they could face 10 years in jail.
On Friday, the president tweeted out an FBI wanted poster with the pictures of fifteen individuals being sought for attacking the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, outside the White House, earlier in the week. He added that “many” were in custody already, and that vandalizing federal monuments carried a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
MANY people in custody, with many others being sought for Vandalization of Federal Property in Lafayette Park. 10 year prison sentences! @FBIWFOpic.twitter.com/mrLyxbWNvq
Earlier this week, when Trump warned protesters against setting up a Seattle-style “autonomous zone” in the park, Twitter suppressed that post saying it was “abusive” because it amounted to “a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”
The move meant that while people could still see Trump’s tweet – if they clicked through a warning screen – they could not reply, share, like, or interact with it in any way.
Twitter had done the same thing for one of Trump’s tweets last month, describing his warning to looters and rioters in Minneapolis as “glorification of violence.” The platform has come under criticism from Trump and the Republicans over censoring the president in this way, but was praised by Democrats and the mainstream media.
Its standards for labeling tweets objectionable certainly appear to be arbitrary and capricious – something that is very much illegal when it comes to government regulations, for example.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!