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Two members of the so-called “Squad” in Congress — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) complained Friday that Twitter is hiding hate tweets to President Donald Trump following his COVID-19 diagnosis while still allowing hateful messages to be sent to them.
Following the president’s announcement that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus, which he made on Twitter, Trump began receiving a deluge of hateful messages.
That prompted the social media platform to remind users posts “that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed.”
tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed. this does not automatically mean suspension. https://t.co/lQ8wWGL2y0 https://t.co/P2vGfUeUQf
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 2, 2020
In turn, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez, two members of a small far-left collective dubbed “The Squad” that includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), questioned why the platform has not intervened similarly on behalf of them, other politicians, journalists and celebrities who have received similar messages wishing them death or harm.
“So… you mean to tell us you could’ve done this the whole time?” Ocasio-Cortez asked, quoting the Twitter Comms post.
“Seriously though, this is messed up. The death threats towards us should have been taken more seriously by @TwitterComms,” Tlaib added, quoting Ocasio-Cortez’s post.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) October 3, 2020
The platform noted further that not all posts wishing harm to the president would trigger an automatic suspension of users, however. Under abusive behavior guidelines, the platform notes that “a number of factors are considered” when monitors are attempting to determine what constitutes actionable content.
“For example, we may ask someone to remove the violating content and serve a period of time in read-only mode before they can Tweet again,” the policy states. “Subsequent violations will lead to longer read-only periods and may eventually result in permanent suspension. If an account is engaging primarily in abusive behavior, we may permanently suspend the account upon initial review.”
Twitter officials told Motherboard they were “prioritizing the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm.”
That said, Tlaib ripped into the president after he announced that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus.
“He still won’t wear a mask. He only cares about himself and his life, NOT those around him or the people he took an oath to protect. Too many lives lost because of his deadly lies,” she wrote, suggesting — as many Democrats have done — that the president is personally responsible for the after-effects of a virus that originated in China.
During a segment on “The Five” Friday, co-host Greg Gutfeld praised the president for allowing his actions to match his words in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, even to the point of getting it himself.
“The reason why he didn’t hide from the virus is because he didn’t want America to hide from the virus. If he was going to ask America to get back to work… and experience a risk, he was going to do the same thing,” he said.
“I think he put himself on the line and that flaw being that, as an optimist, as somebody who’s trying to convey a message that we’re gonna get through this and things are gonna be better, he had to walk that walk,” he added.
Gutfeld shreds Juan over ‘ha, ha, I told you so’ take: Trump put himself ‘on the line…didn’t hide from the virus’ for sake of the country https://t.co/yLygaZ5jyB
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) October 3, 2020
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