The death of Floyd, a black man in Minnesota, angered many locals thursday when they set fire to a police building there,media reported. Shortly after that, Mr. Trump posted on social media that he was “smashing starts, shooting starts.”
The phrase, used by georgia’s pro-apartheid governor, George Wallace, was seen as an endorsement of police violence against protesters.
A few hours later, Twitter hid the news and warned that it violated the site’s rules against “glorifying violence,” the first time the company had taken such action against Trump’s tweets.
But the posts remained on Facebook and Instagram, which have been retweeted more than 64,000 times and liked more than 426,000 times. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the incident late Friday local time. According to his defense, he has discussed the matter with his team and has chosen to keep the posts on its platform.
“I know a lot of people are upset that we left Mr. President’s post, but our position is that we should express as much as possible unless it causes immediate and specific harm or danger,” he wrote. Despite the disturbing historical references to this article, we decided not to leave it alone, because the National Guard reference meant that we interpreted it as a warning to national action, and we thought people needed to know whether the government planned to deploy troops. “
He added that the company would rethink its approach to the policy following Mr. Trump’s post. “We’ve been in touch with the White House today to explain these policies. “
Mr Zuckerberg’s comments come as big technology companies are under increasing pressure to help combat false and misinformation and harassment and threats. Twitter appears to have been criticized for allowing Mr. Trump to regularly violate his terms of service. But on Tuesday, the company hit back at the president, marking a fact check at the bottom of a tweet about the postal vote. On Friday morning, the company took another move to hide tweets about robberies and shootings, warning that it was glorifying violence.
The moves no doubt infuriated Mr. Trump, who signed an executive order Thursday that would require government agencies to begin investigating or otherwise punishsocial companies that are clearly biased. Before signing the order, Trump wrote on Twitter: “This is going to be an important day for social media and fairness! “