Trump unleashes fury on social media companies with bogus allegations of anti-conservative bias
It's a Friday night, so naturally, the president of the United States has nothing better to do than go off on Twitter about the supposed anti-conservative bias of social media:
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States… https://t.co/hzEsDBB8Hf— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1556924102.0
The wonderful Diamond and Silk have been treated so horribly by Facebook. They work so hard and what has been done… https://t.co/dtJx145P2i— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1556925793.0
So surprised to see Conservative thinkers like James Woods banned from Twitter, and Paul Watson banned from Faceboo… https://t.co/xfHQj31ZD3— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1556925935.0
As the New York Times' Maggie Haberman noted:
Watson is an Alex Jones protege who among other things has trafficked in 9/11 conspiracy theories. https://t.co/VuUnMduqlQ— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1556926336.0
The president seems to be responding to the recent decisions from Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to ban bigots, cranks and conspiracy theorists who poison the content of social media. It's true that these bans hit some of Trump's allies, like Alex Jones, but it's not the company's fault that the right wing embraces and fosters such unsavory characters.
More broadly, though, there's no basis for the view that social media companies are systematically biased against conservatives, as Cristina López argued recently for the Hill. In fact, many conservatives thrive on social media.
"Available data consistently shows that right-wing content does as well as left-wing content on Facebook," wrote López, "that YouTube algorithms boost far-right content that radicalizes audiences, and that claims of anti-conservative bias are 'nothing more than a mix of anecdotal evidence … and a failure to understand the companies’ algorithms and content moderation practices.'"
Trump himself clearly has a de facto pass to violate Twitter's conduct rules because he's the president.
But if Trump really wants to focus on this issue, he should feel free.
I think this is a *great* 2020 message, personally. https://t.co/bmBvBEdddg— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1556925876.0