Twitter CEO responds to Trump: ‘Not true’ that removing campaign video was illegal

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday responded to President Trump’s assertion that the platform’s removal of his campaign video was “illegal,” reiterating that the video was pulled because it had run afoul of the website’s policy on copyrighted material.

“Not true and not illegal. This was pulled because we got a DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] complaint from copyright holder,” Dorsey tweeted in direct response to Trump, who earlier in the evening railed against the removal of his video, tweeting that the social media platform is “fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230!”

The back-and-forth between the CEO and the president comes a day after Twitter removed a video tribute to George Floyd posted by Trump’s reelection campaign.

The Team Trump account tweeted out a nearly four-minute video that is narrated by a speech the president gave a few days after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody.

In the video, the president can be heard lamenting the “grave tragedy” of Floyd’s death over images of Floyd and peaceful protesters mourning his death.

Later in the video, the president warns about “violence and anarchy” from “radical left-wing groups” over images of riots and looting. He also describes the vast majority of law enforcement officials as “devoted public servants” as the video shows images of police officers hugging civilians and people cleaning up graffiti and garbage in the streets.

The Team Trump video was retweeted by Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. before it was removed and replaced with a message that said, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill that the company received a complaint from a copyright owner of at least one of the images in the video, although it’s unclear which one.

Facebook and Instagram on Friday removed the same video from their platforms, also citing copyright concerns.

“We received a copyright complaint from the creator under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and have removed the post,” a Facebook official told The Hill. “Organizations that use original art shared on Instagram are expected to have the right to do so.”

Friday’s clash marks the latest in a series of battles between the Trump administration and Twitter, which last month added fact checks to two of Trump’s tweets regarding mail-in voting in California, prompting the president to sign an executive order aimed at increasing the ability of the government to regulate social media platforms.

Then last week Twitter again flagged one of Trump’s tweets, noting that it violated the platform’s policies on “the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted about the protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of Floyd, adding, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

The president’s statement was widely interpreted as threatening those protesting Floyd’s death and was sharply criticized by several Democratic senators, among others. 

Jonathan Easley contributed.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Donald Trump Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren George Floyd Jack Dorsey Twitter

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