“Social media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices,” tweeted President Trump on Saturday. “Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others.”
Trump’s comments came days after Twitter suspended the account of far-right talk show host Alex Jones amid public criticism of his posts.
Twitter insists it does not single out conservatives for stricter enforcement and claims Jones was suspended for “hate speech.”
Jones, who owns the conspiracy theory website InfoWars, has also been censored by Apple, YouTube, and Facebook.
Jones is best known for claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting (2012) was a hoax.
Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter have been under increasing pressure to remove fake and abusive content from their sites after it was found that they were manipulated by Russia during the 2016 elections. But their efforts to manage content have drawn fire from Republicans, who claim the sites are censoring conservative opinions.
“Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police,” tweeted Trump. “Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”
GOP lawmakers in recent months have held multiple congressional hearings on social media platforms’ bias against conservatives.
In the meantime, Mr. Jones is urging President Trump to “come out before the midterms and make the censorship the big issue.” He also asked Trump to “come out and point out that the Communist Chinese have penetrated and infiltrated and are way, way worse than the Russians.”
Trump on Saturday tweeted: “All the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China.”
Trump also made it clear that he is not asking social media sites to ban “fake news” outlets like MSNBC and CNN. “I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all,” he said.
Author’s Note: I’m not a huge fan of Alex Jones, but he has the right to speak. Allowing people to spread crazy conspiracy theories is part of the First Amendment. And without that freedom of speech, we are back to the tyranny of 300 years ago.
Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are not qualified to judge speech.