A video of a police officer being covered with liquid, presumably gasoline, and set on fire, with the caption “Take Notes” currently has 2.8 million views on the social media network Twitter. It has been retweeted 11,800 times and has 22,400 likes. The account which has uploaded the video goes on to say that “Guadalajara is the blueprint” and “setting cops on fire > protesting.”
It appears that the video is from a riot in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, that took place this Thursday. The condition of the officer is unknown.
The video is below, viewer discretion is advised.
Many of the comments under the video link in Twitter Support, or Jack Dorsey, the current CEO of Twitter, and call on them to remove it. So far Twitter have taken no action against it. The account uploaded the video several days ago.
Twitter last week censored one of Donald Trump’s tweets, saying it “glorifying violence”. The tweet in question is still visible to users, behind a note saying it was “glorifying violence” but that Twitter was keeping it up in the public interest. Options to respond and share the tweet have been limited. Trump later tweeted that, “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.”
Critics of Twitter have long made the argument that Twitter is heavily politically biased in its moderation, with accounts that legitimately glorify violence or breech the site’s guidelines left alone so long as they share the same politics as Twitter.
The above will certainly provide another example to those critics. On one hand we have a tweet from the President, which seems merely to say that looting will lead to deaths rather than glorifying violence, and that tweet is censored, while on the other we have a widely shared video showing the immolation of police officers, and which is clearly intended to promote that behaviour, but Twitter does nothing about it.
We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment, we’ll update this piece should we receive any.