Washington (CNN)Donald Trump Jr. accused Twitter of censoring a tweet Wednesday. It would be a shocking claim if true, a smoking gun in conservatives' battle against alleged censorship by Big Tech.
Donald Trump Jr. has a history of incorrectly suggesting Twitter is censoring or blocking tweets
But it's not. The tweet in question was actually just deleted.
Trump Jr. retweeted a tweet from Candace Owens, communications director for Turning Point USA. In the tweet, Owens thanked President Donald Trump for giving her a shoutout. "He loves the way I think. #MAGA," she wrote.
Trump Jr. retweeted Owens' tweet, adding the hashtag "#metoo," which has been used by sexual assault survivors. About 30 minutes later, he tweeted a screenshot showing that Owens' tweet was "unavailable."
"So now @RealCandaceO is being censored by @twitter?" he wrote. "She simply said 'He likes the way I think' referring to the duly elected President of The United States. I guess if you're effective you get censored now!?!? Got it."
But Owens had simply deleted her tweet and posted a longer one about the President's praise, calling it "affirmation I will never forget."
Owens later claimed she had not deleted any tweets and responded to a question from this reporter on Twitter with a like. She again tweeted "He loves the way I think," tagging Trump Jr. He re-retweeted it, again using the #metoo hashtag. Trump Jr. did not, however, admit that he erroneously accused Twitter of censorship.
It's not the first time he has suggested Twitter was censoring or blocking tweets. He's tweeted before when users tell him they can't see tweets marked as sensitive.
The reason these tweets don't show up for some users, however, is due to Twitter's sensitive content setting. Users are able to mark their accounts as having potentially sensitive content, or as not wanting to see sensitive content. It's a setting that can be used by journalists covering war zones or violence, porn stars who tweet NSFW photos, or other graphic content. But it can also be turned on by any user.
One screenshot of a tweet Trump Jr. showed as blocked in October 2017 states it is unavailable because of the sensitive content setting.
In another tweet from May 2017, Trump Jr. responded to a user who asked "What happened to the First Amendment?" when she couldn't see a tweet from @DRUDGE_REPORT, an account that in the past been known for having its sensitive content setting on.
Twitter users who want to see all tweets regardless of accounts' sensitive rating can do so in their settings.
Accusations of conservative censorship have also popped up recently with pro-Trump social media influencers Diamond and Silk, who claimed they've been banned and censored on Facebook. The duo, sisters from North Carolina, however, have never been banned by the social network, and data from CrowdTangle, an analytics firm owned by Facebook, showed normal traffic patterns to their page. They once received a notification from Facebook telling them their content was "unsafe" and "inaccurate," but Facebook said the message was "mishandled" and reached out to the sisters personally to answer questions.