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Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


  • Twitter on Tuesday flagged and restricted another tweet from President Trump as “violating our policy against abusive behavior.”
  • “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force,” Trump wrote.
  • Trump’s tweet came in response to a group of vandals spray-painting a historic church near the White House with the phrase “Black House Autonomous Zone.”


Twitter flagged a message from President Donald Trump saying that any attempt at an autonomous zone in Washington, DC, “will be met with serious force” as violating its policy against abusive behavior on Tuesday.

At 8:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”

Trump’s tweet came after reports said people graffitied the historic St. John’s Church in Lafayette Square, which is next to the White House, with the phrase “Black House Autonomous Zone” during Monday evening’s protests in Washington. Nearby barricades were also spray-painted with the phrases “BHAZ,” “BLM,” and “F— the police.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Twitter placed a public-interest notice on the tweet and restricted users’ ability to share it, saying it violated the company’s “policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”

The tweet is still available to view and can be retweeted, but users cannot like or reply to it.

Trump’s warnings against the would-be creators of a Washington “autonomous zone” came after a group of protesters took over the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle and declared it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” with no law enforcement presence.

Officials in the city of Seattle have said that authorities will now move to dismantle and break up the group, which later rebranded itself as the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP,” after shootings and bursts of violence broke out in the neighborhood over the weekend.

In a Monday evening tweet, Trump also denounced vandals who removed a statue of former President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, telling them to “beware” of prosecution and an up to 10-year in prison sentence under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act.

Trump’s message vowing to meet autonomous-zone creators with “serious force” is the fourth tweet from the president that Twitter has restricted or flagged for violating its policies amid a broader push to fact-check politicians and enforce the site’s terms of service on its most powerful users.

Previously, Twitter added a fact-checking notice and created a fact-checking page for some of Trump’s tweets that pushed misleading information about mail-in ballots. It also restricted a tweet from Trump that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” for violating the site’s policy against glorifying violence.

Most recently, Twitter added a “manipulated media” notice to a video Trump shared of two toddlers hugging and playing that had been edited and distorted to appear as if the cable network CNN had aired it with its own chyrons.

The video Trump posted was subsequently removed from both Twitter and Facebook altogether for violating the copyright of Jukin Media, which had licensed the original, nonmanipulated version of the video.

In early June, Twitter also flagged and restricted a tweet from GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz in which he expressed a desire to “hunt down” protesters affiliated with antifa, a decentralized anti-fascism movement, because it violated its policy against glorifying violence.

As reported by Business Insider