Twitter Rules Donald Trump’s ‘Liberate’ Tweets Don’t Violate Coronavirus-Specific Guidelines

Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force
Alex Wong / Getty Images

After several complaints from various groups about the recent spate of tweets from President Donald Trump, Twitter ruled his “liberate” posts did not violate the social media platform’s guidelines specific to coronavirus. A representative of the social media platform reached out to the Washington Examiner and said the meaning behind the tweets was too vague to take action against.

“The use of ‘liberate’ in the Tweets you referenced is vague and unclear, and not something that allows us to reliably infer harmful physical intent,” the representative explained.

Those who complained to Twitter about Trump’s tweets believed he was attempting to incite harmful physical intent. Some claimed the vagueness of the intent was the problem. He didn’t include what he meant with the “liberate” language, leaving it up to the citizens to decide. Critics claimed people could infer he was talking about armed insurrection, especially when it came to Virginia.

In that tweet, Trump mentioned the second amendment. Those same critics pointed out the guidelines, put in place on March 18, which mention that tweets could be removed if they contain a “clear call to action that could directly pose a risk to people’s health or well-being.”

The call to action to liberate the states came a day after protesters took to the streets in various states to counter what they believe are lockdown rules that are far too strict. The Examiner pointed out that during Friday’s daily briefing, Trump said he agreed with the protesters that some of the states’ rules are too harsh.

Coronavirus protestors take to the streets in Virginia
  Zach Gibson / Getty Images

During that briefing, he also said the protesters appeared to be responsible people, further lending support to groups who have defied various orders put into place since the coronavirus outbreak began. Chief among those orders is that people avoid large gatherings, limiting their groups to 10 or fewer.

Almost all states in the U.S. have urged citizens to keep a 6-foot social distancing buffer between one another.

After Twitter was notified of Trump’s tweets about liberating states, he changed his aim to other targets. That included several tweets attacking Nancy Pelosi for staying at home and remaining inside rather than returning to Washington and “doing something.” He also spent most of the night retweeting one of his more prodigious supporters in Charlie Kirk who spent a good part of the evening leveling his own attacks against Democrats and Trump critics.

Friday wasn’t the first time Trump has been reported to Twitter for tweets that people felt were violating guidelines meant to reduce bullying or personal attacks. Twitter has long stated politicians have more latitude in that regard because of their need to also impart important information to their constituents.