Not true and not illegal, tweeted Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey after US President Donald Trump accused the micro-blogging site of pulling his campaign video showing empathy for peaceful protesters.
“This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder,” Dorsey replied to the US president’s allegations on Twitter.
On Friday, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram disabled Trump's campaign tribute video to George Floyd on their platforms over "copyright complaints".
The clip, which shows photos and videos of protest marches and instances of violence in the aftermath of the death of Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota, has Trump speaking in the background.
Late Friday, Trump criticized the removal by Twitter. "They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal," he wrote on Twitter.
The social media site said it responds "to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives."
The three-minute, 45-second video was tweeted by Trump's campaign on Wednesday. It was also uploaded on Trump's YouTube channel and his campaign's Facebook page. The clip has garnered more than 1.4 million views on YouTube and Facebook combined.
Twitter has been under fierce scrutiny from the Trump administration since it fact-checked Trump's tweets about unsubstantiated claims of mail-in voting fraud. It also labelled a Trump tweet about protests in Minneapolis as "glorifying violence."
Trump has pledged to introduce legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.
In fact, companies like Twitter and Facebook are granted liability protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because they are treated as “platforms," rather than “publishers,” which can face lawsuits over content.
Over the past few weeks, the skirmishes between Twitter and Trump have been stark and out in the open. Twitter placed a warning label on two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted problems with the November elections. It demoted and placed a stronger warning on a third tweet about Minneapolis protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”
Trump said the fact checks were “editorial decisions” by Twitter amounting to political activism and that such actions should cost social media companies their liability protection for what is posted on their platforms.
Dorsey said that Twitter will “continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.” But he added: “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’”
Trump, who personally relies heavily on Twitter to verbally flog his foes, has long accused the tech giants in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley of targeting conservatives by fact-checking them or removing their posts.
“We’re fed up with it," Trump said, claiming his order would uphold freedom of speech.
(With inputs from agencies)