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Twitter puts warning notice on Trump tweet for 'abusive behaviour'

By Reuters | June 23rd 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One from the Marine One helicopter as he departs on a day trip to Arizona and a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving Washington from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., June 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) on Tuesday placed a warning notice on a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump which threatened “serious force” against protesters in the U.S. capital, saying it violated the company’s policy against abusive behaviour.

“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!” the president’s tweet read.

The company said it had hidden Trump’s tweet behind its “public interest” notice because there was a threat of harm against an identifiable group.

It was only the second time Twitter has deployed the public interest label on a tweet by the U.S. president, after announcing its creation last summer. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was informed of the decision before the notice was applied, a Twitter spokeswoman said.

Anti-racism protesters on Monday declared a Black House Autonomous Zone - referencing a Seattle area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone or the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone - near the White House in front of St. John’s Church.

The company first attached its public interest notice to one of Trump’s tweets last month, when he used the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” to threaten deadly force against protesters in Minneapolis.

Twitter said that message violated its rules against “glorifying violence.” It has also appended fact-checking and manipulated media labels to Trump’s tweets in the last month, after taking no action against his use of the app for years.

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