Twitter Deletes Donald Trump's Photo of Himself Due to Copyright Complaint

Twitter has removed a photo of Donald Trump tweeted by the president for violating the company's copyright policy. Shared on June 30, the post featured a black-and-white photo of the president pointing at the camera with text that read: "In reality, they're not after me, they're after you. I'm just in the way."

Originally taken by Times staff photographer Damon Winter and appearing an October 2015 profile of Trump in the New York Times Magazine, the photo was removed after the New York Times Co. filed a DMCA takedown request reporting the president's post as infringing its copyright. That complaint was filed on July 1, with a spokesperson from the Times confirming the motion to The Hill. A spokesperson for Twitter told the outlet that they removed the image following a complaint from a rights holder. Although the president's tweet has not been removed, in place of the original photo, a message now reads, "Media not displayed: This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder."

According to Twitter's copyright policy, the company will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, including allegations of unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image. A spokesperson said that "valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives" are addressed by the company.

This marks the second copyright complaint against the president in recent weeks. In early June, a video shared by the Trump campaign's official account was disabled over a copyright claim. Titled "Healing, not Hatred," the video showed a montage of photos and videos of George Floyd as well as the protests sparked in response to his murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The video was replaced with a label reading, "This media has been disabled in response to a claim by the copyright owner."


Twitter has become a major target for the president as the social media platform moves to hold the president’s account accountable. Twitter had put a "fact check" label on several of Trump’' tweets relating to mail-in ballots in May, marking the first time the platform had done so. Not long after, the social media platform placed a "public interest warning" label on one of the president’s tweets which glorified violence against protesters.

Twitter, however, is not alone. Facebook recently removed a Trump campaign video, and the popular video game streaming website Twitch has temporarily banned Team Trump, the account tied President Donald Trump's campaign, for violating the company's policy on hateful conduct.