In the Black Lives Matter demonstration that swept the United States, the Trump administration asked social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to step in and remove posts that encouraged violations of curfews, statues or acts of violence,media CNET reported. Protesters tore up statues of racist figures, including Confederate figures.
The Department of Homeland Security sent a letter Friday to executives at Google, Snap, Twitter and Facebook saying the technology companies helped facilitate “burglaries, arson, serious assaults, riots, robberies and defacement of public property,” the Washington Post reported.
“We can confirm that we have received this letter and intend to respond,” a Twitter spokesman said in an emailed statement.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Facebook, Google and Snap did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump signed an executive order late Friday saying he would protect “American monuments, monuments and statues.” According to Mr. Trump, those involved in the statue’s demolition face “long prison terms.”
Last month, Twitter began tagging some of Trump’s tweets after he posted that the November election ballot would be “essentially fraudulent.” The tweet prompted Twitter to apply fact-checking tags that said the post contained “potentially misleading information” and provided links for users to learn more. Mr. Trump later said on Twitter that he would take action against social media companies.
In May, Twitter also blocked Trump’s tweets about protests in Minnesota over the death of George Floyd. During that time, Twitter blocked Trump’s tweet behind a warning hashtag that said the post violated the site’s rules on “glorifying violence.” Users can click a button and continue reading the tweet. This week, the company blocked a tweet because it violated a policy against “the presence of threats of harm to identifiable groups.”
That eventually led To Trump sign an executive order on social media platforms in late May. The Justice Department last week unveiled a proposal to amend section 230 of the Communications Etiquette Act of 1996, which is widely considered the most important law to protect online speech. The proposal would eliminate protections against social media platforms and Internet providers such as Verizon and Comcast from lawsuits from posts posted on their services.
Black Lives Matter protests continue in the United States and around the world against the recent killings of George Floyd, Brenna Taylor, Amod Abelli, Reshad Brooks and other victims of police violence, as well as against systemic racism.