Twitter Removes Trump Video for Copyright Infringement

The president once again says Twitter is 'censoring' him

donald trump either paying attention or looking bored it
In the four-minute video, Trump calls Floyd’s death a “grave tragedy” before railing against “left-wing groups." Getty Images
Headshot of Scott Nover

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Twitter removed a video tweeted by two of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign accounts for copyright infringement Thursday, leading the president to once again accuse the social platform of censoring him.

As first reported by Politico, the video was a Trump-narrated tribute to George Floyd, the Black man killed by Minneapolis police officers last week whose death sparked massive protests across the globe. In the four-minute video, Trump calls Floyd’s death a “grave tragedy” before railing against “left-wing groups … terrorizing the innocent.”

While Twitter left up the posts, it removed the video content for copyright violation. In response, @TeamTrump, one of the two violating accounts along with @TrumpWarRoom, tweeted that Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey are “censoring this uplifting and unifying message” and linked to the video on YouTube. YouTube, which has not taken down the video, did not respond to a request for comment on whether it violated its rules.

A spokesperson for Twitter said the social platform will “respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives” and confirmed the tweet was affected by a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim. 

A Facebook spokesperson told Adweek on Friday afternoon that it had also removed the video from Facebook as well as Instagram. “We received a copyright complaint from the creator under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and have removed the post. Organizations that use original art shared on Instagram are expected to have the right to do so.”

DMCA violations are one of the few exceptions to Section 230, which protects websites from liability for content posted by their users, a provision that Trump has attacked in recent days. Last week, he signed an executive order telling the Commerce Department to request a review of federal policies by the Federal Communications Commission.

The executive order came after Twitter slapped fact-check labels on two of Trump’s tweets for giving misleading information on mail-in ballots. On Friday, Twitter took stronger action, restricting tweets from the @realDonaldTrump and @WhiteHouse accounts that appeared to encourage shooting unarmed protesters in Minneapolis for “glorifying violence.”

Twitter took similar action last year, removing the video from Trump’s tweet about an adaptation of Nickelback’s “Photograph” music video.

This article has been updated to reflect Facebook’s decision to remove the video from its platform and Instagram.

@ScottNover Scott Nover is a platforms reporter at Adweek, covering social media companies and their influence.