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Trump Joins Ranks of Leaders Whose Tweets Got Checked by Twitter

Nate Lanxon

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t the only politician to earn a Twitter Inc. rule-violation notice. Several other politicians and officials have had tweets blacklisted for violating the platform’s terms of service on grounds such as spreading misinformation or, as in Trump’s case, the “glorification of violence.”

Twitter put up a rule-violation notice on one of Trump’s most recent posts that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” While the president’s comments about violent protests in Minneapolis were against its rules, Twitter said it determined that it “may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” In order to read the tweet a user must click on a separate button to view it.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other notable officials that Twitter has previously taken action against to combat breaches of its terms and rules.

Trump’s Lawyer

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, tweeted in March that the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine “was found 100% effective in treating the coronavirus.” Trump has said he’s personally taken the medication and touted it as a possible coronavirus treatment despite warnings by doctors about its unproven efficacy.

Twitter removed Giuliani’s post and trying to access it now results in an error reading: “Sorry, that page does not exist.” Unofficial archives captured the post in time for it to be preserved.

U.S. Politicians

Both Republican state representative Briscoe Cain of Texas and the daughter of the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, have had tweets removed for breaching Twitter’s violent language rules. Cain tweeted “My AR is ready for you” at Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, according to the Guardian, while Christine Pelosi posted, “Rand Paul’s neighbor was right” after the Republican senator’s neighbor broke several of his ribs in an assault.

Venezuela’s President

In March, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro tweeted that a “prominent Venezuelan scientist” had given him permission to share three “interesting” articles about the coronavirus. One of them he linked to contained a recipe for a “natural antibiotic” that “works against this virus.”

The tweet was removed for “violating Twitter Rules” according to archived screenshots of the post, but the same message and website links remains accessible and public on the politician’s official Facebook page.

Brazilian Officials

In April, a message from Brazilian lawmaker Osmar Terra was flagged after he said quarantine measures risked increasing the spread of Covid-19. He included a chart to support his argument.

As was the case with Trump’s tweet, Terra’s message remained accessible because it was in “the public interest,” but its content was hidden from view by default.

In March, Twitter confirmed to CNET that it also deleted two posts made from the account of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on misinformation grounds. The posts contained videos, now inaccessible, but seen by Buzzfeed and summarized as having contained promotions for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 and ending social distancing.

Chinese Spokesman

Deletion or hiding isn’t always Twitter’s go-to policy for posts that make controversial claims. For instance, this week it applied a fact check tag to at least two posts made by China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian, both of which advanced questions about whether the Covid-19 virus began in the U.S. rather than China.

The tags, at the base of the tweets originally posted in March, are marked with an exclamation point inside a circle and follow with text that reads “Get the facts about Covid-19”. Clicking the link takes a user to tweets about the virus origin, which emphasize that the virus appears to have originated in animals in China, rather than a virus laboratory in Wuhan, China.

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