Donald Trump Jr.’s Instagram post Thursday morning included the hashtags: #obamacare, #censored, #twitter, #freespeech, and #thought.
Why all the hashtags? Well, Trump Jr. seems to believe Twitter is censoring him on the platform. To summarize, this is the tweet we’re talking about:
Here’s what he’s quote tweeting a Bloomberg story on Obamacare tweeted by the news aggregation site Drudge Report:
I can see the tweet just fine and so can he, but apparently other users on the platform, including his wife, cannot see the tweet and instead it reads: “This Tweet is not available because it includes potentially sensitive content.”
“I don’t think there is anything remotely controversial or offensive about the truth here and yet it seems @twitter decided to at least partially censor the tweet,” Trump Jr. wrote in his Instagram caption.
It all comes down to a little section of Twitter’s Settings page. At the bottom of the “Privacy and safety” page, you’ll see this:
I have “Display media that may contain sensitive content” checked off, which means I can see Trump Jr’s tweet.
As to why Trump Jr’s tweet was marked as sensitive? That’s unclear.
The Drudge Report account could have itself listed with posting sensitive content and therefore anyone who selected in their Settings not to be shown sensitive content will see the greyed message.
A Twitter spokesperson would not confirm if The Drudge Report account has this setting turned on because Twitter does not comment on private account information, but he did confirm that were that to be the case, the scenario we etched out would be accurate.
It stands to reason that users may have reported the tweet themselves. If a Twitter user flags a tweet as spam or marks it as abusive, Twitter will review the report and “determine if that media require a warning message,” according to Twitter’s rules.
“Are the executives or algorithms deciding what is and isn’t appropriate and actually suppressing or minimizing the potential impact of thought?” Trump Jr. asked in his Instagram post.
Not so. What is flagged by users is then checked by Twitter’s team of moderators. So it is not automatically marked by an algorithm or is Twitter’s moderation team staffed by executives.
Any more questions, Trump Jr.? Twitter suggests you read this page on their Support website.
This post was updated with comment from Twitter.