Twitter on Thursday took down videos posted by two of the Trump administration’s reelection campaign profiles, Team Trump and Trump War Room, for copyright infringement. The nearly four-minute-long clip paid tribute to George Floyd and was narrated by a speech the president gave a few days ago.
“We are working toward a more just society, but that means building up, not tearing down. Joining hands, not hurling fists. Standing in solidarity, not surrendering to hostility,” tweeted the Team Trump handle accompanied by the video.
Twitter told The Hill that the decision was based on a complaint from a copyright owner of at least one of the images in the video but didn’t share any specifics. The complaint was reviewed by Harvard University’s Lumen Database, a third-party research group Twitter relies on to handle cease and desist letters, that concluded the video was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The tweets, which were retweeted by Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., have been left up. However, the attached video has been disabled with an overlaying error that reads: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”
In a follow-up tweet, the Team Trump account accused Twitter and its CEO, Jack Dorsey of censoring the “uplifting and unifying message from President Trump after the #GeorgeFloyd tragedy.” The tweet, in addition, urged its followers to “make it go viral” and shared an alternate YouTube link.
Andrew Clark, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, in a statement to The Hill, said that this “is yet another reminder that Twitter is making up the rules as they go along.”
“From the dubious removal of the hilarious Nickelback video to capricious fact checks and manipulated media labels to questionable claims of copyright, Twitter has repeatedly failed to explain why their rules seem to only apply to the Trump campaign but not to others.
Censoring out the president’s important message of unity around the George Floyd protests is an unfortunate escalation of this double standard,” he added.
This is the third time Twitter has taken action on President Donald Trump’s tweets in the last week. Late last month, the social media company censored Trump and the White House’s tweets on Minnesota for “glorifying violence.”