Amid media silence on street violence, Twitter told Sen. Cotton to delete tweets about military, rioting

by WorldTribune Staff, June 19, 2020

Amid the rioting in Minneapolis during the George Floyd protests, an MSNBC reporter, with a building on fire behind him, proclaimed what was transpiring to be “mostly” peaceful.

As the fire raged and rioters milled about behind him, reporter Ali Velshi said: “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”

Reports have said that there were four fires within the vicinity Velshi was reporting from, including a liquor store that was burning behind him as well as the 3rd Precinct Police Department.

That scene was literally an acknowledgment of what many analysts have been saying about the leftist media’s coverage of the Floyd demonstrations, ignoring the violence and devastation while pushing a narrative of “peaceful protesters” raising awareness of so-called “systemic racism.”

Craig Melvin, an MSNBC host and co-anchor of “Today,” tweeted on May 28: “This will guide our reporting in MN. ‘While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid, and there has been violence, it is most accurate at this time to describe what is happening there as ‘protests’ — not riots.’ ”

Twitter, many analysts and observers say, has been especially egregious amid the media coverage of the riots and demonstrations.

Media declarations that right-wing militias were fueling the riots were never fact-checked, while tweets by President Donald Trump and other Republicans calling attention to the Antifa “thugs” running rampant in America’s cities were.

Twitter employees told Sen. Tom Cotton to delete a June 1 tweet about the military and rioting that took place after George Floyd’s May 25 death, the Arkansas Republican said Wednesday in a Fox News op-ed.

“Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight,” Cotton wrote in the June 1 tweet. “If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division. We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.”

Cotton added in another tweet that “if necessary,” the U.S. should deploy “the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry — whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.”

Many in the major media and the woke mob of leftists took issue with Cotton’s use of the phrase “no quarter,” with some such as Dispatch editor David French suggesting that “no quarter” is “a war crime” that “would, if carried out, be murder under American law.”

Cotton said Twitter employees took issue with the tweet, saying it violated the company’s policies.

Cotton recounted an interaction with “a low-level employee in Twitter’s Washington office,” in which she told the senator’s aides that Cotton had to delete the tweet within 30 minutes or have his account suspended.

“My aide tried to reason with the employee. We offered to post a new tweet clarifying my meaning — which I did anyway — but the employee refused, insisting I had to delete the original tweet because some snowflakes had retweeted it,” Cotton wrote.

Cotton and his aides asked why the tweet couldn’t “simply be flagged, as Twitter recently did to a tweet by the president,” and the Twitter employee responded by saying Twitter only flags tweets that violate its policies if they come from heads of state, “not legislators,” the senator said.

Twitter flagged a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, “later that day” for violating the company’s policies, according to Cotton.

“My aide subsequently asked why Gaetz’s tweet was flagged since he’s also a legislator, not a head of state. She clarified that their policy covers all elected officials, but only if the account has 100,000 followers,” the Arkansas senator wrote. “Not only had we received a false account of the company’s own policy, but my account had grown to over 100,000 followers that day, reflecting how arbitrary the policy is to begin with.”

Cotton contended that Twitter “began as an open platform committed to the free exchange of ideas,” but “over time, it increasingly has taken upon itself the role of politically correct censor of thought-crime by elected officials and ordinary citizens alike.”

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