The President’s re-election campaign’s Twitter account was briefly locked for posting misleading information about Joe Biden.
President Donald Trump has threatened a “big lawsuit” against Twitter after the company briefly locked his re-election campaign’s account.
Early on Thursday, Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn posted a screenshot to his own Twitter account. The image appeared to show a message from the social media site’s administrators, informing Hanh that the Trump campaign’s official “account had been locked.”
The notice explained that the account had violated Twitter’s usage policy, which prohibits “posting private information.” It cited a tweet published by the Trump campaign page, in which staffers claimed that presidential contender Joe Biden is a “liar” who has been “ripping off our country for years.”
Twitter later backtracked and unlocked the account, prompting the Trump campaign to repost the allegations and an accompanying video.
“We are back and we are re-posting the video Twitter doesn’t want you to watch,” the campaign tweeted.
The video, notes POLITICO, relates to a New York Post report detailing Joe Biden’s alleged corruption in securing a position for his son, Hunter, at a Ukrainian energy company.
While President Trump was not immediately aware of his campaign account’s brief disappearance, he told FOX News that any attempts at censorship would be met with a “big lawsuit.”
So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!! https://t.co/g1RJFpIVUZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2020
“And there are things that can happen that are very severe that I’d rather not see happen,” Trump said. “But it’s probably going to have to.”
President Trump also opined that social media companies—including both Twitter and Facebook—are politically biased, frequently removing his campaign’s content while refusing to interfere with the virtual operations of his rivals.
“It’s like a third arm of the DNC,” Trump said of Facebook and Twitter. “Really, it’s like a massive campaign contribution.”
Trump—somewhat ironically—also took to Twitter to rail against his campaign account’s temporary block.
“So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of ‘Smoking Gun’ emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter in the @nypost,” Trump tweeted earlier this week.
“It is only the beginning for them,” the president added. “There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!”
Section 230 refers to an aspect of the Communications Decency Act, which makes it impossible to sue social media platforms over user-posted content; it also permits such companies to moderate content as they see fit.
Facebook has since defended its actions to block misleading political content from its platform, with a corporate spokesperson saying the removal of Trump campaign propaganda is part of a “standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.”