Twitter restricted a post from Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday in which the congressman suggested hunting down members of Antifa, a group that President Donald Trump recently announced would be designated as a terrorist organization, USA Today reported.
Antifa is believed to be responsible for inciting a significant amount of the rioting and looting that has occurred in recent days amid mass protests of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” Gaetz tweeted Monday afternoon.
Twitter hid that tweet behind a notice that read: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Users have to click “view” on that message in order to actually see the tweet. Additionally, they are not able to reply to it, like it, or retweet it without comment. Those restrictions serve to limit the distribution of the violating post.
Gaetz spent much of the afternoon decrying this decision by Twitter, responding to critics of the tweet, and pointing to examples of allegedly improper posts that Twitter did not treat similarly, including a tweet from former NFL quarterback and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick.
“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” Kaepernick’s tweet reads. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back!”
“Twitter has no problem with this incitement of violence,” Gaetz wrote of Kaepernick’s tweet. “I called for government action against terrorists, and they deemed that naughty. Feels good to virtue signal now Twitter. But this will be hard to explain later. See you in the Judiciary Committee.”
Twitter has drawn the ire of President Trump for putting the so-called “public interest notice” on his tweets, leading to an executive order aimed at preventing online censorship.