Twitter placed a warning on a tweet from a Florida congressman about hunting antifa.
No sooner had President Trump announced he would label antifa — a left-wing, anti-fascist political movement — a terrorist organization, than Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz apparently decided it was open season.
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: Please keep in mind that this is a mainstream media story with the typical lean to the left. We publish the story for the purpose of informing our readers.
“Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” he tweeted Monday afternoon.
Twitter, which recently put a “glorifying violence” warning label on one of Trump’s tweets, promptly slapped a warning on Gaetz’s tweet.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,” Twitter stated, hiding the tweet but giving people the option of clicking further to read it. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
The congressman did not let up.
“Antifa is a terrorist organization, encouraging riots that hurt Americans,” tweeted Gaetz, an avid Trump supporter. “Our government should hunt them down. Twitter should stop enabling them. I’ll keep saying it.”
Commenters responded with facts such as, “Trump tear-gassed peaceful protestors so he could hold up a Bible, ANTIFA didn’t,” and “Antifa didn’t kill George Floyd.”
George Floyd died on Memorial Day as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck while he was on the ground in handcuffs. Chauvin has since been fired along with three fellow officers who stood by. Chauvin is jailed on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Protests have swept the nation in the week since then, with vandalism and looting destroying property and resulting in several fatalities, and no end in sight.
Trump has blamed the loosely structured movement, whose name is short for “anti-fascists,” for inciting violence and riots. But antifa is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups dedicated to resisting neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers University and author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” told the Associated Press.
Moreover, actions ascribed to antifa are often not committed by them. On Monday, a Twitter account advocating violence related to the protests and ostensibly aligned with antifa turned out to be fake, reported NBC News. It was instead linked to a white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, and the account suspended, a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News.
Some experts questioned Trump’s legal authority to designate a group, especially a loose network without a specific structure, as a terrorist outfit.
“The United States of America has no legal authority to designate any domestic entities as ‘terrorist organizations,’ ” Steve Vladeck, a national security law expert at the University of Texas, told the Los Angeles Times.
(c)2020 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.