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Twitter has removed Trump’s Floyd tribute video on copyright issue

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Twitter has removed a Trump campaign video tribute to George Floyd over a copyright claim, the latest escalation in a confrontation between the social media platform and the most influential user.

@TeamTrump’s account had tweeted a video collage of images and clips of peaceful protests, mourning moments, and law enforcement officers embracing civilians following the murder of George Floyd, an African American man, while in custody. Accompanied by a soft piano soundtrack and President Donald Trump’s speech on “healing, not hate,” it urged Americans to unite.

The video, which is still available to watch on the President’s YouTube channel, appears to have collected most of its content through social media posts and at least one copyright holder has complained to Twitter about the use of their photo, a company spokesperson told The Hill.

The President of the United States has an audience of 81.7 million followers on his personal Twitter account, which he uses to celebrate the achievements of his government and, often, lambastic opponents. In the aftermath of Floyd’s death and subsequent protests, he tweeted a warning that “when the looting begins, the shooting begins”, which Twitter believed violated the rules against glorifying violence and led the company to deliver that message behind a warning label. Earlier, the social media giant had posted a fact-check message on another Trump tweet, which also caused the President’s dismay.

In retaliation for what Trump and his supporters thought was political bias, the president issued an executive order targeting social media companies such as Twitter. The action – which could expose Twitter, Facebook and other tech giants to a series of lawsuits – led to broad condemnation of liberals and even some conservatives who accused the president of launching an unconstitutional attack on free speech.

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