Twitter obscured a tweet sent by Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday, finding that the Florida Republican had violated its policies prohibiting tweets that glorify violence. But Twitter didn’t delete the tweet, instead deciding to hide it and require users to click a “View” button to see the tweet’s contents.
In a tweet posted Monday morning, Gaetz wrote: “Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?”
A Twitter spokeswoman reiterated that the public interest notice was placed on the tweet for violating the company’s glorification of violence policy.
“As is standard with this notice, engagements with the tweet will be limited,” the spokeswoman said. “People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to like, reply or retweet it.”
The rare move comes after. placing it behind a similar label for glorifying violence. Trump was tweeting about the protests and riots taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, following the death last week of George Floyd while in police custody. In the veiled tweet, Trump called the protesters “thugs” after threatening to send in the National Guard. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said in the veiled tweet, which he posted overnight.
Twitter’s use of labels is part of its strategy to crack down on the spread of misinformation and other forms of harmful content, following pressure from governments worldwide to shoulder more responsibility for stemming the flow of false information. Critics of the social media company have said applying labels to tweets censors free speech.
Gaetz’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.