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Over 19K sign petition to suspend Trump from social media over Omar video

A petition calling for Twitter and Facebook to suspend President Trump’s social media accounts earned over 19,000 signatures over the weekend after the president posted a controversial video featuring freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). 

“Suspend [Trump] from Twitter and Facebook for inciting violence and engaging in hate speech,” the petition, sponsored by the national Women’s March organization, reads. “Remove his propaganda video targeting Congresswoman Omar.” 

The president last week posted a Twitter video with images of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack spliced between footage of Omar delivering remarks about Muslims in the U.S. The video drew a backlash with critics calling it inflammatory and raising concerns about Omar’s safety.{mosads}

Omar is one of the first Muslim-American women to serve in Congress, alongside Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). She said on Sunday that she has faced an increase in threats to her life since Trump posted the video last week. 

“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video,” Omar wrote in a statement released Sunday. 

As of Monday afternoon, the video was still up on Twitter. 

Twitter has long held that most posts from public figures should remain online because they are “newsworthy,” even when they violate Twitter guidelines against hateful or inflammatory content.

Facebook in 2016 announced a similar policy, saying they will not censor graphic material that is “newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards.” 

Critics have raised concerns over Trump’s social media accounts before, claiming he should not be allowed to blast out graphic or hateful content to his millions of followers when other users are held to different standards. 

But the “newsworthiness” policies mean Facebook and Twitter are unlikely to take down his accounts any time soon. 

A Twitter executive last month said the company is considering a new feature that will label tweets from politicians, including Trump, when they violate Twitter rules.

Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

–This report was updated on April 16 at 5:23 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Rashida Tlaib

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