Twitter said that it locked Donald Trump's account after he violated the social media platform's policies by sharing the email address of a columnist.
The president, who has over 87 million followers, sent out a tweet, quoting a column published in New York Post by journalist Miranda Devine. In the column, Devine praised the president, writing that he battled COVID-19 and showed commitment to his presidential duties even after his diagnosis.
The president had to delete the tweet before the social media platform would unlock his Twitter account.
Journalists who shared the tweet by the President were also reported to have their account locked until they decided to delete their posts — a decision which saw some journalists blaming Twitter for creating a Catch-22 situation.
Washington Correspondent Olivia Nuzzi wrote: "Unlocking my account meant agreeing to delete my tweet that contained the image of President Trump’s tweet."
She added: "Twitter’s position is that reporters sharing images of President Trump’s tweets that violate their rules is a violation of their rules itself."
Following Twitter's decision to lock the President's account, his tweet was shadowed by the message: "This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules."
Since then, Trump, rewrote his original tweet, this time sharing the journalist's social media handle instead of their email.
Twitter policies clearly state that people should refrain from sharing the personal information of others.
The private information policy laid out by Twitter reads: "You may not publish or post other people's private information (such as home phone number and address) without their express authorization and permission. We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so."
However, the President's tweet, sharing the personal information of the journalist wasn't the only one to be flagged by Twitter, which boasts of 330 million active users — 63 percent of which are aged between 35 to 65 years.
Twitter, along with Facebook, flagged another of the president's tweets for violating rules.
The statement, posted hours after Trump was released from the hospital and was seen gasping for air, read: "Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu."
"Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!" he wrote.
Twitter flagged the tweet for violating its rules and "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."
Reacting to the removal of the tweet, the President tweeted: "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!"
Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act provides a legal "safe harbor" for internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter. Under U.S. laws, these internet companies are generally exempt from the liability for the materials posted by users on their accounts.
The removal of Section 230 might mean that the social media platforms might not be able to stop the rampant spread of online misinformation, harassment and abuse.