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White House reposts Khamenei tweet after Twitter flags Trump for 'glorifying violence'

White House accuses Twitter of double standards, saying it allows 'terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse' the site
US President Donald Trump speaks in Oval Office before signing executive order related to regulating social media on 28 May (AFP/File photo)
By Sheren Khalel in Washington

Sharing a screenshot of a tweet from the account of Iran's supreme leader, the White House on Friday suggested that Twitter is unfairly targeting Donald Trump, after several of the US president's tweets were flagged as "misleading" or "glorifying violence". 

The official White House Twitter account shared a screenshot of a post madelast week by the unverified account of Ali Khamenei, in which Iran's supreme leader defends the right of Palestinians to resist Israel's occupation. 

"This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, @Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform," reads the White House's post that accompanied the screenshot.

The post in question was part of a Twitter thread that the Iranian leader's account shared last week for Quds Day, an event that highlights the Palestinian cause, which has been commemorated on the last Friday of Ramadan each year since it was initiated by Iran in the 1970s. 

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"The struggle to free #Palestine is #Jihad in the way of God. Victory in such a struggle has been guaranteed, because the person, even if killed, will receive 'one of the two excellent things.' Also, crimes against Palestine trouble any human’s conscience & inspire opposition," the Khamenei post reads. 

'Jihad' is an Arabic word meaning struggle. 

The White House's post comes in reaction to Twitter flagging a tweet made by Trump late on Thursday, in which he called protesters in Minneapolis "thugs", and warned that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts". 

Twitter did not take down the tweet, but flagged it for violating its terms of service. 

"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," reads the statement, which puts Trump's tweet behind a click wall. 

On Friday morning, the White House's official twitter account quoted Trump's flagged tweet verbatim, posting it there about an hour before making the Khamenei post. 

Protests in Minneapolis broke out on Tuesday, the day after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by a white police officer.

Police arrested Floyd after responding to a report of forgery at a local convenience store.

Video footage of the incident shows Floyd, in handcuffs as police pin him to the ground, with one officer pressing his knee on Floyd's neck until he loses consciousness.

In the video, Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying that he can not breathe. He died in hospital on Monday night, and since then protests have erupted across the country. 

Trump's issue with Twitter began earlier this week, hitting a boiling point on Wednesday when the social media platform slapped a fact check label on a pair of "misleading" tweets made by the US president regarding mail-in voting.

On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order related to regulating social media that could lead to punishing companies such as Twitter and Google for pointing out factual inconsistencies in posts made by politicians.

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