Washington (AFP)

Twitter places warnings on @realDonaldTrump messages. Trump accuses Twitter of being politically active. And the tweets are popping up, all over the place.

Difficult to guess the outcome of this new kind of confrontation between the President of the United States and this social network which he denounces, but which is also his main communication tool with more than 80 million subscribers.

Five months before the presidential election, this controversy allows for the time being the republican billionaire, deprived of campaign meetings because of the coronavirus, to galvanize his electoral base by denouncing what he considers to be an injustice.

This open war moved on Friday to dramatic terrain: the violent clashes in Minneapolis after the death of a black man, George Floyd, during his arrest.

Twitter masked a message from the White House tenant, saying he was in violation of his guidelines on condemning violence. The tweet remains fully visible when you click on the message.

"These BREAKERS dishonor the memory of George Floyd, and I will not let that happen. I just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military was fully at his side," the president wrote.

"The looting will be immediately greeted by bullets," he added, in a charged formula.

- "Only bullshit" -

In a somewhat ubiquitous escalation, the official White House account @WhiteHouse has, as a challenge, in turn tweeted Donald Trump's message on Minneapolis.

The American platform, in a tac-a-tac response, issued the same warning: "This tweet has violated Twitter's rules on the praise of violence. However, Twitter believes that it is in the best interests of the public that this tweet remains accessible. "

"The president did not praise the violence. He clearly condemned it," said the White House.

"The + information verifiers + of Twitter and (his boss) Jack Dorsey, who work with bias and are in bad faith, have clearly demonstrated: Twitter is an editor, not a platform," he said. she adds.

The American president had signed on Thursday a decree attacking Section 230 of the "Communications Decency Act".

The cornerstone of the American internet, it offers Facebook, Twitter or YouTube (Google) immunity from any legal action related to content published by third parties and gives them the freedom to intervene on platforms as they wish.

The decree seeks to modify the scope of this 1996 law and states that immunity cannot extend to those who practice "censorship from certain points of view".

"When powerful social networks censor opinions (...) they cease to function as passive forums. They must be considered and treated as content creators," states the text.

But for Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, Donald Trump mainly wants to "intimidate" social networks and attacks Section 230 "because it protects the right of companies not to have to harbor their lies".

One of the president's close advisers, Dan Scavino, who is particularly concerned with his strategy on social networks, has crossed a milestone in the virulence of his attacks.

"Twitter only tells bullshit," he tweeted. "More and more people are starting to realize this."

© 2020 AFP