Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio demanded answers from Twitter Tuesday for failing to take action over a doctored image of an Australian soldier slitting a child’s throat.
“Twitter has had more than 36 hours to identify, investigate, and evaluate a tweet sent by Zhao Lijian, the deputy director-general of China’s Information Department, that contains a doctored image that depicts a violent act that may in turn inspire other violent acts,” Rubio’s letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said.
“It defies belief that Twitter is unaware of the image, which falsely portrays an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of a young Afghan child, as Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison requested the image be taken down,” he continued. (RELATED: Here’s How Many Trump Tweets Have Been Flagged Since Election Day)
.@Twitter has had over 36 hours to investigate & flag a tweet by Zhao Lijian,a deputy director of #China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that contained a doctored image that could inspire deadly violence
They have done nothing
But Trump tweets get flagged within minutes
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 1, 2020
Rubio accused Twitter of making “an intentional decision” of allowing the tweet to remain without even issuing a warning label, noting that during the 2020 presidential election, Twitter moved “rapidly” to flag election content with “warning labels on tweets of prominent Americans.”
“Social media platforms, including Twitter, have taken it upon themselves to regulate, moderate, and censor speech on their platforms,” the letter continued. “That is your right as a private company. However, the logic of such actions is increasingly difficult to understand in light of their inconsistency and raises questions of whether Twitter specifically should be eligible for Section 230 protections.”
The senator called on Twitter to address when Twitter was made aware of the tweet, whether Twitter reviewed it, why no action was taken if so, what steps would be taken to avoid “such mistakes in the future,” and whether Twitter has future plans to operate with China. (RELATED: Jack Dorsey: Holocaust Denials Not ‘Misinformation’ Under Twitter Policy)
“The American people increasingly see mainstream social media, especially Twitter, as little more than a liberal echo chamber inclined to censor conservatives,” Rubio concluded. “I share their concern, especially when enemies of America are allowed to post falsified and dangerously misleading images with no consequence.”
Following a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, Twitter informed the DCNF that the tweet had been flagged as “sensitive media.”
“The image contained within the Tweet in question has been marked as sensitive media,” a Twitter spokesman said. ‘For more information on these policies and how to control your individual media settings on Twitter, see here.”
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