Twitter disables Trump campaign tribute to George Floyd due to copyright complaint

Guardian staff
Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters

Twitter has disabled a video by Donald Trump’s campaign team that pays tribute to George Floyd, saying it is the subject of a copyright complaint.

The video was retweeted nearly 7,000 times by people including the US president and his son Donald Jr.

In response to the video’s removal, the campaign accused the social media site and its co-founder, Jack Dorsey, of censoring an “uplifting and unifying message from President Trump” and urged its followers make a separate YouTube video go viral.

Related: Is Donald Trump's love-hate relationship with Twitter on the rocks?

The nearly four-minute clip posted on Wednesday shows images of peaceful protests while Trump speaks of the “grave tragedy” before moving to a warning about violence from “radical leftwing groups” amid scenes of unrest and looting.

The accompanying Team Trump tweet said: “We are working toward a more just society, but that means building up, not tearing down. Joining hands, not hurling fists. Standing in solidarity, not surrendering to hostility.”

Andrew Clark, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said the move was “yet another reminder that Twitter is making up the rules as they go along”. He added: “Twitter has repeatedly failed to explain why their rules seem to only apply to the Trump campaign but not to others. Censoring out the president’s important message of unity around the George Floyd protests is an unfortunate escalation of this double standard.”

The US president has repeatedly clashed with Twitter ever since it placed a fact check on two of his tweets in which the president lied about the safety of mail-in voting .

Twitter said last month those tweets violated its “civic integrity policy”, which bars users from “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes”.

Trump responded with an executive order that seeks to narrow social media companies’ protection from liability over the content posted on their platforms.

Last week Twitter hid a Trump tweet about the Floyd protests – in which he said: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” and threatened to call in the military – behind a warning that it glorifies violence.

This is not the first time Trump has been accused of copyright infringement. In 2019 video posted by Donald Trump has been removed from Twitter after a copyright claim by the rock band Nickelback.