Twitter attaches ‘glorifying violence’ disclaimer to Trump tweet about Minneapolis riots

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” the President had told followers on the site.

Twitter has placed a “public interest notice” on a post from Donald Trump about protests in the US city of Minneapolis which said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

The president tweeted after protesters angered by the death of the black man George Floyd in police custody set fire to a police station.

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George Floyd

Video emerged showing Mr Floyd, who died on Monday, gasping for breath as a white policeman knelt on his neck.

The 46-year-old’s family have demanded the four officers implicated in his death be indicted on murder charges.

Widespread demonstrations and unrest have continued for days since his death, despite the Minnesota National Guard being mobilised to restore order.

Mr Floyd’s death is the latest in a large number of incidents involving police that have caused outrage in African American communities.

Twitter has placed a “public interest notice” on a post from Donald Trump about protests in the US city of Minneapolis which said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’

“...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!” Trump’s tweet read.

It can now only be read after clicking on a disclaimer from Twitter moderators which reads: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

In a statement, Twitter said: “This Tweet 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.

“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.

“As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”

The move by Twitter came after it fact-checked two of Mr Trump’s tweets earlier in the week prompting him to sign an executive order challenging the liability protections which have allowed unfettered speech on the internet.

How did the protests start?

After news spread of Mr Floyd’s death in police custody, on Tuesday hundreds of people gathered at the junction in Minneapolis where the incident took place, chanting “I can’t breathe”.

The chant, which was first used after the death of Eric Garner, a black man who suffocated after being placed in a police chokehold in New York City in 2014. His death went on to be a pivotal moment in the growth of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

By Wednesday, protesters numbered in their thousands, and organisers struggled to maintain social distancing as people were confronted by police with tear gas.

Buildings across the city have been damaged or set on fire, with reports of some businesses being looted.

On Thursday, officers fired rubber bullets into the crowds in an attempt to clear the 3rd Precinct, the centre of the protests.

But a cordon placed around a police station in the precinct was overwhelmed by protesters, who set it alight.

People have also taken to the streets in Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, and in Memphis, Tennessee.

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