Twitter has added new warnings to tweets from Donald Trump amid violence in Washington D.C. At least two tweets from the president now have labels warning of a “risk of violence.”
“This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence,” the label says. It was also added to a one-minute video in which the president told his supporters to “go home now” and said the rioters were “very special.” A large pop-up with similar language also appears if you try to retweet the labeled tweets, though quote tweets are still possible.
The company said on its @TwitterSafety account that it was “significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence,” and that it’s “exploring other escalated enforcement actions.” It wasn’t immediately clear what those “escalated” steps may be.
We are also exploring other escalated enforcement actions and will keep the public updated with any significant developments.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 6, 2021
While Twitter has labeled many of Trump’s past tweets, the latest warnings are the first time the company has explicitly said that the president’s words could incite violence. The company has previously said it would prioritize tweets “inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.”
The move also sparked cries that, faced with increasing violence in the nation’s capital, Twitter needs to do more than simply apply labels. “There have been good arguments for private companies to not silence elected officials, but all those arguments are predicated on the protection of constitutional governance,” tweeted Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former top security official. “Twitter and Facebook have to cut him off. There are no legitimate equities left and labeling won’t do it.”
Update 1/6 6:20pm ET: Facebook and YouTube have both removed the video posted by Trump that called rioters “special.”