Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has defended the world’s biggest microblogging website’s decision to disable US President Donald Trump’s campaign tribute video to a black man who died in police custody, an incident that has sparked massive race protests across the US.
The 3.40-minute-long video was tweeted on June 3. Twitter said the video on the US President’s campaign account was affected by its copyright policy.
In his continuing battle against social media firms, Mr Trump alleged Twitter’s latest move was for the benefit of what he called “Radical Left Democrats”.
The US President tweeted an article on a website that said Twitter removed Mr Trump’s video “showing empathy for peaceful protesters”. “They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230,” Mr Trump tweeted, referring to a US law that says an “interactive computer service” can’t be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content.
The Twitter CEO replied that the social media firm’s latest action on the Trump campaign’s tribute video to George Floyd was due to a “complaint from a copyright holder”.
“Not true and not illegal. This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder,” Mr Dorsey tweeted, referring to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Not true and not illegal.
This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder. https://t.co/RAsaYng71a
— jack (@jack) June 6, 2020
The Trump campaign clip, which is still on YouTube, has harvested over 60,000 views and 13,000 “likes”.
Twitter last week flagged tweets by the US president on mail-in voting as inaccurate, leading to a face-off between Mr Dorsey and Mr Trump, who threatened to shutter social media over Twitter’s actions on his posts.
In the Trump campaign video on the death of George Floyd, Mr Trump is heard saying he regretted the “grave tragedy” of Mr Floyd’s death. The US President later in the video asks people against taking up “violence and anarchy” from getting influenced by “radical left-wing groups”. Images of riots and looting are then shown, before the clip moves on to show police officers hugging people.
US civil rights groups on Thursday filed a case suing Mr Trump after security forces fired pepper balls and smoke bombs to clear protesters outside the White House.
Mr Dorsey has stood firmly by Twitter’s decision to flag the US President’s tweets. “Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make,” Mr Dorsey tweeted on May 28.