A tweet by Donald Trump Sunday, which parodied an old wrestling video to show a GIF of him beating up on someone whose face has the CNN logo superimposed on it, is being widely criticized as inciting violence toward the media.
For that reason, among the many replies and retweets of the president’s tweet are ones saying that it violates Twitter’s terms of service.
Twitter Terms of Service, Mr President. pic.twitter.com/pow4WNDSYS
— Katie Jacobs Stanton (@KatieS) July 2, 2017
But Twitter says it’s OK.
CNN reports that Twitter reviewed the tweet and determined it didn’t violate the social network’s TOS: “Twitter said it considered three factors: the political context of the conversation surrounding the tweet, the various ways it could be interpreted and the lack of details in the tweet itself.”
When reached by SiliconBeat Monday, a Twitter spokeswoman said the company “won’t have anything further” than its comments to CNN.
Here’s some political context, per Twitter’s comment to CNN: Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to attack the news media, including railing against fake news and calling the media “the enemy of the American people.” Last week, Trump tweeted a personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, hosts of the MSNBC TV news show “Morning Joe.” The CNN-attack tweet, which is a doctored version of a 2007 Trump appearance at a WWE event, included the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN.
For its part, CNN said in a statement Sunday that “it is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters.” One of its commentators, Ana Navarro, said on ABC’s “This Week”: “He is going to get somebody killed in the media.”
Twitter has been credited with helping elect Trump, whose weapons of choice are tweets posted seemingly with no rhyme or reason. However, Jim Anderson, CEO of online publishing optimization platform SocialFlow, said Trump continues to use social media to his advantage.
“We know that insults to the media play incredibly well to his base, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the media can not cover things said by the President of the United States,” Anderson told CBS News.
SocialFlow’s analysis of Trump’s tweets found that the tweets attacking Brzezinski last week (he called her “crazy,” “low-IQ” and claimed he saw her face “bleeding badly” from a face lift) had the most reach and coverage of all of Trump’s insult tweets so far.
Several polls have found that Americans want their president to stop tweeting from his personal account. The latest poll, released Thursday (the same day as the “Morning Joe” attack tweets) by Quinnipiac University, shows that 61 percent of registered U.S. voters think Trump should stop using his personal Twitter account.
Twitter has been urged to dump Trump, but CEO Jack Dorsey has called Trump’s use of the social network “‘fascinating” and “complicated,” and has said it’s “important” for the company that the president use its service.
Photo of Twitter logos by AFP/Getty Images