Facebook, Twitter and Instagram disabled a Trump campaign video honoring George Floyd on all three of their social media platforms Friday, citing copyright claims.
The campaign video, which YouTube has kept up, contains President Donald Trump’s voice playing in the background behind pictures and videos of both protests and riots that have ensued following George Floyd’s death while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, according to Reuters.
Trump criticized the removal of the video on Twitter, arguing that Twitter had violated section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by removing it.
“They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230!” Trumps said on Twitter.
Twitter Pulls Trump Campaign Video of President Showing Empathy For Peaceful Protesters https://t.co/5DEIoPHsud They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2020
“This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder.” Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, responded to Trump late Friday night.
Not true and not illegal.
This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder. https://t.co/RAsaYng71a
— jack (@jack) June 6, 2020
It’s unclear what exactly led to the complaint, according to Reuters, but California lawyer Sam Koolaq, who heads the practice that submitted it, told Politico the video infringed on material from an artist they represent.
“My client is very talented, so I can understand why the President chose to use their work as part of his re-election efforts,” said Koolaq in an email to Politico. “Thankfully, the law protects artists from unauthorized usage, even when the unauthorized user is the President.” (RELATED: Time To Confront The Tyranny Of Social Media Censorship)
Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said it removed the video after receiving a copyright complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “We received a copyright complaint from the creator … and have removed the post,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Politico. “Organizations that use original art shared on Instagram are expected to have the right to do so.”
YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi told Politico that the video uploaded to their platform was different and did not contain the allegedly infringing content that the version posted to Twitter did. She said the video will remain up, according to Politico.