Twitter placed a notice on a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz after the Florida Republican tweeted about hunting “antifa” on Monday, but the social media platform did not take down the statement.
The congressman’s tweet was hidden with a notice that it violated Twitter’s rules for glorifying violence, similar to a notice that was placed on a tweet from President Donald Trump last week. Gaetz posed a question about hunting Antifa in reference to Trump’s decision Sunday to label the group as domestic terrorists.
“Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” Gaetz tweeted.
Antifa, meaning “anti-fascist,” is a coalition of protesters, left-wing activists and self-described anarchists who seek to physically confront and bring down what they deem as the far right.
Gaetz’s tweet was quickly flagged by users who said they would report it for promoting the killing of fellow Americans. Once the tweet was shrouded by the notice, however, users could no longer reply or like the post.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., asked Twitter to take down the Gaetz tweet entirely, claiming that gun violence survivors were scared the comments would inspire some people to begin shooting into crowds.
“Spare me your woke virtue signaling. Every real Democrat ran for President and you ran to twitter,” Gaetz responded. “Governments go after terrorists. Individuals don’t. We – the government – should continue to do so. And Antifa is rightly on the list!”
Twitter for the first time last week added a fact-check label to a pair of Trump’s tweets regarding mail-in voting.
A representative for Twitter told NBC News that those tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” The spokesperson added that the company rolled out a policy to combat misinformation.
The new feature incensed the president, who claimed the company infringed upon free speech. Trump, who has made Twitter a primary communication tool during his presidency, has long complained that social media platforms were biased against conservatives.
He signed an executive order Thursday that would direct several parts of the federal government to examine the conduct of internet companies with an eye toward further restrictions. But legal experts have challenged whether the order would actually be able to regulate private companies such as Twitter and Facebook.
In 1996, Congress said websites cannot be held legally responsible for the content posted by their users. The law also protects a website’s efforts to remove content that’s obscene or violent or otherwise violates its terms of service.