Trump tweets support for far-right figures banned by Facebook – The Guardian

Donald Trump criticized social media companies after Facebook banned a number of far-right figures, declaring that he was “monitoring and watching, closely!!”

The president, who tweeted and retweeted complaints, including complaints from rightwing figures themselves, on Friday and Saturday, said he would “monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms”.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted harsh criticism of mainstream news organizations such as the Washington Post and New York Times, while lashing out against social media platforms for banning the editors of a prominent American conspiracy theory website, Infowars.

Trump retweeted multiple tweets denouncing the social media bans from an Infowars editor, as well as a one from far-right activist Lauren Southern, who has been banned from entering the UK for being deemed “not conducive to the public good”.

Southern was part of a 2017 far-right expedition that hired a ship to attempt to interfere with operations to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean.

Trump has previously asserted that social media companies exhibit bias against conservatives, something the companies have rejected as untrue. His comments came after Facebook this week banned Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones and others, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals”.

The company also removed far-right provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, and Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist who staged an unsuccessful congressional bid in 2018, along with Jones’ site, Infowars. The latest bans apply both to Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts.

Trump appeared on Infowars in 2015, during his Republican presidential primary campaign, and praised Alex Jones. “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down,” he said.

Facebook’s move signaled renewed effort by the social media giant to remove people and groups promoting objectionable material such as hate, racism and antisemitism.

The company said it has “always banned” people or groups that proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence, regardless of political ideology.

On Twitter, Trump cited a number of individuals he said were being unfairly treated by social media companies, including Watson and the actor James Woods. He insisted it was “getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!”

Woods, one of Hollywood’s most outspoken conservatives, has had his Twitter account locked. Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough said Woods will need to delete a tweet that violated the platform’s rules before he can be reinstated.

Several media outlets reported that the tweet that violated Twitter’s rules referenced the Mueller report and included the phrase “#HangThemAll”.

Trump tweeted: “How can it be possible that James Woods (and many others), a strong but responsible Conservative Voice, is banned from Twitter? Social Media & Fake News Media, together with their partner, the Democrat Party, have no idea the problems they are causing for themselves. VERY UNFAIR!”

Rosborough said Twitter enforces its rules “impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation”.

Trump, who uses Twitter extensively to push his message, recently met with Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, at the White House after attacking the company and complaining that it was not treating him well because he was a Republican. He later described it as a “great meeting”.

Trump had more than social media on his mind Saturday. He also tweeted that he was holding out hopes for a deal with North Korea on its nuclear program, as well as improved relations with Russia, now that he feels the special counsel’s investigation is behind him.


Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*