Twitter has blocked a Trump campaign video tribute to George Floyd over a copyright claim, a move that heightens tensions between the social media platform and the U.S. president, one of its most widely followed users. The Trump campaign account claimed it is being censored.
The company 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 Donald 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," Twitter said in a statement. It did not say who made the complaint.
The @TeamTrump account responded by telling its 1.7 million followers that it was being censored by Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey, and urged followers to watch the video on YouTube. Last month, Mr. Trump threatened to "strongly regulate" or shut down social media companies following Twitter's addition of fact-checking warnings under two of the president's tweets about mail-in voting.
The @TeamTrump account's 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.
Last month, Twitteron 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 the Minneapolis protests that read, in part, that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Twitter said the tweet violated the platform's rules by glorifying violence.
Last year, after receiving copyright complaints, Twitter also removed a Trump tweet that featured a doctored Nickelback music video clip that took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden.