Twitter disables Trump’s George Floyd video tribute

Twitter has disabled US President Donald Trump’s campaign tribute video to George Floyd on its platform citing a copyright complaint.

The clip, which is a collation of photos and video of protest marches and instances of violence in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, has Trump speaking in the background.

According to US media outlet Politico, tweets by Trump campaign accounts @TeamTrump and @TrumpWarRoom 2020 included videos where the US president discusses Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, which he called a “grave tragedy”.

Floyd’s death last week after a fatal encounter with a police officer has led to nationwide protests. In widely circulated video footage, a white officer was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, “I can’t breathe” before passing out.

Twitter said on Thursday the video on the president’s campaign account was affected by its copyright policy.

“We respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorised representatives,” a Twitter representative said.

The three-minute, 45-second video uploaded on Trump’s YouTube channel was tweeted by his campaign on June 3.

The clip, which is still on YouTube, garnered more than 60,000 views and 13,000 likes. The video-streaming platform’s parent Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Backlash from Trump allies

The social media platform has been under fierce scrutiny from the Trump administration since it fact checked Trump’s tweets about unsubstantiated claims of mail-in voting fraud. It also labelled a Trump tweet about protests in Minneapolis as “glorifying violence”.

Trump previously said fact checks were “editorial decisions” by Twitter and amounted to political activism. He said it should cost those companies their protection from lawsuits for what is posted on their platforms.

The president and his allies, who rely heavily on Twitter to attack their foes, have long accused the tech giant of targeting conservatives on social media by fact checking them or removing their posts.

Trump has pledged to introduce legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.

Companies such as Twitter and Facebook are granted liability protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because they are treated as “platforms”, rather than “publishers”, which can face lawsuits over content.

 

 

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