President Donald Trump has criticised social media companies after Facebook banned a number of extremist figures, declaring it was getting “worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!” and he was “monitoring and watching, closely!!”
Trump, who tweeted and re-tweeted complaints on Friday and Saturday, said he would “monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. ” He has previously asserted that social media companies exhibit bias against conservatives, something the companies have rejected as untrue.
The president on Saturday also called for the “Radical Left Wing Media” to apologize for what he called “Russian Collusion Delusion.”
The president’s coincide with Facebook’s ban this week on Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals.”
The company also removed right-wing personalities Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, along with Jones’ site, Infowars, which often posts conspiracy theories.
The latest bans apply both to Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts.
Facebook’s move signalled renewed effort by the social media giant to remove people and groups promoting objectionable material such as hate, racism and anti-Semitism.
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, retweeting several messages including two by a well-known right-wing personality.
He insisted it was “getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!”
Watson, a British radio host and YouTube personality who goes by the Twitter handle @PrisonPlanet, 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.
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.
After spending several hours at his Virginia golf course on Saturday, 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, who uses Twitter extensively to push his message, recently met with Twitter 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.”
The president had more than social media on his mind on Saturday. Trump 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 investigation is behind him