Twitter Pulls Donald Trump Ad

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have begun to target fake news or clips of real footage edited to tell a different story — and President Donald J. Trump seems to be the frontrunner in getting dinged for employing these edited clips or non factual data. One video recently posted by @TeamTrump using Twitter was removed for copyright-infringement purposes. The video in question took aim at the protests following the police killing of African American George Floyd.

The Tweet was subsequently replaced with a standard message: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

According to Twitter representatives, a DMCA complaint was filed. It included a takedown request which Twitter decided to uphold. The issue stemmed from an image used in the video, but representatives decided to keep quiet on which image. The video can still be viewed on YouTube, and is called “Healing, Not Hatred.” Both Facebook and Instagram removed the video after receiving the same DMCA takedown request.

In response to the takedown, @realDonaldTrump tweeted: “Twitter Pulls Trump Campaign Video of President Showing Empathy for Peaceful Protesters … They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230.”

Of course, that’s not the truth. 

Trump officials were also forced to delete a recently posted YouTube video showcasing NASA-trained astronauts aboard the SpaceX flight last month because of advertising rule violations. The video had been titled “Make Space Great Again.” Subsequent complaints were almost immediately followed by retired astronaut Karen Nyberg, who is married to one of the astronauts aboard the SpaceX flight.

Nyberg said that the video was “political propaganda [used] without my knowledge or consent.”

There was also a Change.org petition filed to argue that the video that had been posted only served to exploit the mission’s members for “political showmanship.”

In reaction to Twitter’s notifications and takedown actions, Trump almost immediately issued an executive order that would combat legal protections for speech conveyed using the platform. Ironic, since Trump often calls out the mainstream media for spreading “fake news.” The executive order essentially changes “fake news” into protected free speech! Unsurprisingly, at least one law firm filed a lawsuit to fight the executive order — on the basis that it violates the First Amendment. We imagine that courtroom brawl will be fun to watch: “These notifications target my right to free speech!” “No, the fake videos target my right to free speech!”

Twitter has also started to apply warning labels to Tweets that violate its policies. Twitter flagged one such post of Trump’s on May 29. The Tweet referring to the recent spate of protests read: “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

 

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