U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted an article making light of Twitter’s recent crackdown on misinformation by the Christian-conservative satire website the Babylon Bee early on Friday morning.
Trump’s tweet read, “Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News … via @TheBabylonBee Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T.”
The Babylon Bee, often considered the right-wing version of the Onion, is not a news source, but a strict parody website.
The article Trump tweeted jokes, “CEO Jack Dorsey realized he had to take action. Dorsey smashed a glass box in his office reading "Break In Case Of Bad Publicity For Democrats." Inside the case was a sledgehammer for smashing Twitter's servers. ‘Red alert -- shut the servers down! Shut them all down!’"
The link to the article was no longer working hours after Trump's tweet went viral, but cached versions of the article remained online.
Trump's re-election campaign's Twitter account was briefly restricted on Thursday, causing an outcry from Republican lawmakers who accused social media companies of acting like "speech police" and vowing to hold Twitter responsible.
Twitter temporarily blocked the @TeamTrump account from sending tweets after it posted a video about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son that it said violated its rules.
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The video referred to a New York Post story from Wednesday that contained alleged details of Hunter Biden's business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company and said the former vice president had met with an adviser of the company.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that Republican-led Senate committees have previously concluded that Joe Biden engaged in no wrongdoing related to Ukraine. He also denied such a meeting had taken place.
A Twitter spokesman said earlier on Thursday that the @TeamTrump account, and the accounts of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the New York Post, had been blocked from tweeting because of the company's policies on hacked materials and posting private information. He said the accounts may need to delete the rule-breaking posts to continue tweeting.
Twitter policy chief Vijaya Gadde said late on Thursday the company has decided to make changes to its hacked materials policy following feedback on its enforcement earlier.
"We will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them," Gadde said in a tweet. "We will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter."
Twitter also said that despite the new policy the New York Post story would still be blocked. A company spokesman said the stories would still be blocked for "violating the rules on private personal information."
The Trump campaign, with 2.2 million followers, was sending tweets again on Thursday afternoon. It said in a new tweet it was "re-posting the video Twitter doesn't want you to watch." A Twitter spokesman told Reuters that the site would not take action as alterations to the video meant it no longer violated its policies.
"It's going to all end up in a big lawsuit and there are things that can happen that are very severe that I'd rather not see happen, but it's probably going to have to," Trump said when asked about the move by Twitter.
McEnany likewise began tweeting again on Thursday, saying she regained access after deleting her post on the report.
Both Facebook Inc and Twitter took proactive steps on Wednesday to restrict dissemination of the Post story in the hours after it was published.