Trump's been 'glorifying violence' for years — and he's gotten away with it


Twitter flagged one of Trump's posts this week for violating its rules against 'glorifying violence,' after years of similar tweets from his account.

Twitter flagged a tweet by Donald Trump early Friday morning, noting its call for violence against protesters in Minneapolis this week violated company rules.

The social media platform has not, however, taken similar steps when Trump has promoted violence on the platform in the past — something he has done on numerous occasions.

Twitter communications officials posted a message early Friday morning stating that Trump's tweet, in which he called the protesters "thugs" and said that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," violated its rules against "glorifying violence."

Officials said they had left the tweet up after determining "that it may be in the public's interest" to be able to access it.

The decision to flag Trump's tweet came hours after he announced an executive order aimed at punishing social media companies for not letting him lie unchecked.

The order would specifically allow the Federal Trade Commission to investigate complaints of political bias on those platforms and would reprimand them by removing protections that guard them against lawsuits over defamatory or damaging content posted by their users.

Trump has long used Twitter to threaten his enemies and promote violence, even before his 2016 presidential campaign.

In 2013, he urged people to shoot others supposedly trying to hit them. "If you are lucky enough to catch a knockout assaulter before getting slugged, and you carry a gun, shoot the bastard (teach them a lesson)!" he tweeted that November.

Earlier that year he had also cheered on a family who shot a burglar, calling the incident "great!"

In July 2017, he tweeted a fake video of himself punching a person with the CNN logo over their face, escalating his war with the media further.

And in September 2017, he used his official account to threaten to obliterate a foreign country. "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!" he wrote.

In January 2018, Trump once again threatened to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'" he tweeted. "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

Last October, Trump quoted a Fox News contributor to defend a service member accused of war crimes. "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!" he complained.

Just last month, he also threatened to attack Iran. "I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."

As recently as Wednesday, Trump retweeted a video featuring a supporter opining that "the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat."

Twitter did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether these previous posts also violated the company's rules about glorifying violence.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.