Twitter may have just hit back at Donald Trump back by flagging his tweet on the ongoing protests in Minneapolis for allegedly “glorifying violence”. But it's not the first time this month that the networking service has added a "health warning" to the president’s tweets, as the company previously put a disclaimer on his two posts about mail-in-ballots voting.
Shortly after this, the US president signed an executive order that could allow national regulators to fine Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms for censoring content.
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
This is not Trump's first battle with the social media giants despite the fact that they enjoy widespread popularity among users, including Trump's own supporters and, of course, the president himself, with his 80.5 million Twitter followers.
Trump has long had a love-hate relationship with social media. He has repeatedly attacked the platforms despite the fact that those same platforms have done so much to boost his profile.
Here are some key points highlighting the president’s ongoing fight with the social networks:
- Last spring, Donald Trump lashed out at Facebook for banning a number of influencers, including Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones whom platform dubbed “dangerous individuals”. Trump, who has long asserted that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild has been exercising bias against conservative figures, said that he was closely “monitoring and watching” the company’s attempt to “censor” American citizens.
- The president carried a similar assault against Twitter around the same time, slamming the company for locking the account of James Woods, who Trump called a “strong but responsible Conservative Voice”. He asserted that the social media platforms were “getting worse and worse” for conservative politicians.
- These accusations were publicly reiterated in July 2019, when during the White House “Social Media Summit”, Trump slammed Twitter, Facebook and Google for exhibiting what he called a “terrible bias”. The US chief said that the companies were guilty of silencing his supporters, a claim that the tech giants have long denied.
© REUTERS / Dado RuvicThe Twitter and Facebook logo along with binary cyber codes are seen in this illustration taken November 26, 2019
- Political ads have been another battleground. Facebook has long been accused of providing politicians with opportunity to “lie” in ads, claims that have been flagged by Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. The platform has refused to change its targeting policies citing free speech but eventually said that some of its advertising tools will be re-evaluated, without providing the exact details. The announcement prompted the Trump 2020 political campaign to lash out at the network in November, accusing the tech giant of planning to “take important tools away” from the president’s supporters, which they said were helping the campaign to “reach more great Americans & lift voices the media and big tech choose to ignore”. This May, Facebook removed some of the Trump campaign’s ads for alleged misinformation.
- Trump also fired some shots at Twitter over the same issue, after the San Francisco-based service announced that it would ban all political ads from appearing on the platform. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign called the decision “very dumb” and said that it was just “another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives”.