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Twitter disables Trump campaign’s George Floyd video tribute

Audrey Conklin

Twitter has disabled a Trump campaign tribute video to George Floyd due to a copyright infringement claim, adding to tensions between the social media platform and the U.S. president, one of its most widely followed users.

The tech giant put a label on a video posted by the @TeamTrump account that said, “This media has been disabled in response to a claim by the copyright owner.” The video was still up on President Trump’s YouTube channel and includes pictures of Floyd, whose death sparked widespread protests, at the start.

"Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives," a Twitter spokesperson told FOX Business. It did not say who made the complaint.

Google did not respond to an inquiry regarding its decision to keep the same video on YouTube, which has 19,000 likes and 4,400 dislikes.

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Twitter notes in its copyright policy that the company will respond to allegations submitted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act "concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services," or other allegations, and take action if the allegations if necessary.

The three minute and 45-second clip is a montage of photos and videos of peaceful marches and police officers hugging protesters interspersed with some scenes of burning buildings and vandalism, set to gentle piano music and Trump speaking.

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The Trump campaign Twitter account responded to the social media company's decision to remove the video on Friday, saying, "Twitter and @Jack are censoring this uplifting and unifying message from President Trump after the #GeorgeFloyd tragedy. The same speech the media refused to cover."

Last month, Twitter placed fact-check warnings on two tweets from Trump’s own account that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted problems with the November U.S. elections. Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

It also demoted and placed a stronger warning on a third Trump tweet about Minneapolis protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter said that the tweet had violated the platform’s rules by glorifying violence.

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Trump responded by threatening to retaliate against social media companies. The president signed an executive order on May 28 that would remove liability protections for social media platforms that take editorial action against user posts, with guidance from the Federal Communications Commission.

Last year, Twitter also removed a Trump tweet that featured a doctored Nickelback music video clip that took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden, after receiving copyright complaints.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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