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The meme, featuring excerpts from the Feb. 5 State of the Union set to R.E.M.’s hit “Everybody Hurts,” drew the ire of bassist and founding member Mike Mills, who tweeted “Measures have been taken to stop it.” He also urged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “get on this.”
— Mike Mills (@m_millsey) February 15, 2019
According to CNBC, Trump retweeted the approximately two-minute-long video on Friday; by Saturday morning, it was gone.
“This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder,” the tweet said instead.
CNBC reported that an attorney from Universal Music Publishing Group contacted Twitter to have the video removed.
After the incident, many on the right are calling the move “censorship.”
Twitter user @CarpeDonktum, to whom the video was credited, responded to the incident on Twitter.
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Rawr Rawr Rawr.
Copyrighted material gets used all the Time on the internet. REM has monetized every video on YouTube where I use their music… This tweet will actually MAKE them money. As to Twitter… they can have all of the $0 I make on it.
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) February 15, 2019
Conservative pundit Ali Alexander urged Trump, his campaign manager Brad Parscale, and Trump social media manager Dan Scavino to retweet the video, adding “Fight for the internet,” along with an angry emoji face.
Pundit Jack Posobiec tweeted the video again, saying, “Twitter just censored this video from President Trump’s account. Be a shame if we made it viral again.” He also tweeted, “Keep an eye on the President’s account The new video is on its way More tears incoming…”
Keep an eye on the President’s account
The new video is on its way
More tears incoming…
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 16, 2019
Surely enough, on Saturday afternoon, the president tweeted the video again, still featuring the disgruntled faced of politicians like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)— but this time, with the backing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2019
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.