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'Vague and unclear': Twitter rules Trump 'liberate' tweet doesn't violate coronavirus guidelines

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/18/2020 Mike Brest

Slideshow by USA Today

Twitter ruled President Trump's tweet appearing to encourage residents to protest their state's stay-at-home orders did not violate the platform's coronavirus-specific guidelines.

A number of communities placed under strict stay-at-home orders have taken to the streets to protest in states like Michigan and New Jersey. The president weighed in on the protests on social media Friday morning, appearing to be on the side of the protesters to demand people in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia "liberate" themselves and reopen their economies.

Twitter ruled the tweets don't specifically violate the platform's rules about the coronavirus pandemic, a spokeswoman for the platform told the Washington Examiner on Friday.

"The use of ‘liberate’ in the Tweets you referenced is vague and unclear, and not something that allows us to reliably infer harmful physical intent," the representative explained.

[ Also read: 'This is censorship': Google suspends evangelical church's app for violating coronavirus 'sensitive events' policy]

The platform's guidelines, which were introduced on March 18, say the site "prioritize[s] removing content" that demonstrate a "clear call to action that could directly pose a risk to people’s health or well-being."

Trump later acknowledged some of the states had stay-at-home orders that were "too tough," during Friday's White House press briefing, but also said he wanted those governors to keep their stay-at-home orders in place.


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