Trump Retweets Far-Right Activists in Attack on Social Media
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump retweeted several messages, including two by a well-known right-wing personality, and continuing to assail what he says is bad treatment of “conservative thinkers” by companies such as Facebook Inc. He later linked the social media giants with the Democratic Party.
The president on Saturday also called for the “Radical Left Wing Media” to apologize for what he called “Russian Collusion Delusion.”
Facebook on Thursday said it was banning a number of contentious far-right personalities, including Infowars founder Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor of Breitbart News, and far-right activist Laura Loomer, for violating the social-media company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.
Paul Joseph Watson, a British radio host and YouTube personality who goes by the Twitter handle @PrisonPlanet, was among those banned on Facebook and Instagram. He tweeted on Thursday that Trump should take action against Facebook.
On Saturday, Trump retweeted a message from the 36-year-old urging his followers to “keep up the pressure,” and a second wondering why his opinions should be deemed “dangerous.”
Also retweeted by Trump on Saturday were posts by Lauren Southern, a far-right Canadian political activist, and Jeremy Boreing, a filmmaker who directed “The Arroyo,” a 2014 movie about vigilante justice on the U.S.-Mexican border and contributes to The Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion website.
After spending several hours at his Virginia golf course, Trump returned to the White House to advise his 60 million Twitter followers that “Social Media & Fake News media, together with their partner, the Democrat Party, have no idea the problems they are causing for themselves.”
Trump in March accused Facebook, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Twitter Inc. of favoring content from Democrats and blocking material from some Republicans. Facebook’s action this week also extended to Louis Farrakhan, the black nationalist minister who’s been accused of anti-Semitism.
In the past, Trump has suggested taking a “look at” the operating licenses of media companies whose reporting he dislikes, including AT&T Inc.’s CNN and Comcast Corp.’s NBC, and has warned social media companies to “be careful.” His suggestions have brought little action from federal agencies.
On Twitter late Friday, the president posted that he was “so surprised” to see people like Watson and Woods banned from Facebook, and said that others, including social media personalities “Diamond and Silk” had been treated “horribly.”
“I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America - and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!” Trump tweeted on Friday.
Facebook shares closed Friday at $195.47, up 1.5 percent, and are at the highest level since July 25.
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