President Donald Trump’s call for order was restricted by Twitter, as chaos erupted in the nation’s capital.
Rioters stormed the capital on January 6 and Trump responded with a short video posted to Twitter that called for peace and an end to the protest. He assured his supporters, “I know your pain. I know your hurt,” but told them “you have to go home now. We have to have peace.” President Trump also assured his supporters that he agrees the election was “fraudulent,” but warned “we can’t play into the hands of these people.” The tweet was promptly labeled with a warning: “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
The “risk of violence” claim was especially bizarre since Trump made it clear he was calling for “peace” and urging the protesters go home. Trump’s post on Facebook was similarly labeled: “The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the integrity of our elections.” At least Facebook didn’t treat a call for peace as a “risk of violence.”
Twitter has targeted Trump with more than a year of unprecedented restriction of his tweets. Trump and his campaign have been censored by Twitter 625 times, Twitter heavily restricted this post in kind. Anyone trying to comment would receive a Twitter notification explaining, “We try to prevent a Tweet like this that otherwise breaks the Twitter Rules from reaching more people, so we have disabled most of the ways to engage with it. If you want to talk about it, you can still Retweet with comment. Learn more.” Users similarly cannot like or retweet the post as well.
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