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- After decrying the removal of several far-right personalities from social media platforms, President Donald Trump retweeted several people that espouse similar views, including Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson and Canadian far-right activist Lauren Southern.
- Trump also retweeted videos from Infowars and from an unverified account called “Deep State Exposed.”
- Trump’s rant on conservative censorship on social media follows Facebook’s decision to ban several alt-right commentators and conspiracy theorists.
- Deplatforming has proven to be an effective measure against commentators who knowingly spread false information, as Infowars founder Alex Jones has been accused of doing. Alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has gone into millions of dollars-worth of debt and cancelled several speaking tours after being removed from several social media platforms.
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President Donald Trump used his Twitter bullhorn to bring several lesser-known far-right activists and conspiracy theory accounts to an audience of millions Saturday morning, retweeting accounts called “Deep State Exposed” and Canadian far-right activist Lauren Southern.
Less than a full day after ranting against conservative censorship on Twitter, Trump tweeted more than a dozen times Saturday morning, retweeting the accounts of Infowars Paul Joseph Watson and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who mostly tweeted praise of the President or criticism of social media censorship.
But the President also spread the message of Southern, a 23-year-old Canadian with views the Southern Poverty Law Center described as being “at the precipice of outright white nationalism.”
Southern, who wrote a book titled “Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Muslims Screwed My Generation,” criticized more moderate conservatives celebrating the expulsion of far-right personalities.
Lmao at establishment conservatives who think they won’t be labeled the new “dangerous” / “extremist” voices when those to the right of them are all banned. Good luck with that one guys ????????
— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) May 3, 2019
She ended the tweet with the “A-OK” emoji, which has been co-opted by the alt-Right – a characterization which she has denied.
The President also retweeted videos from Infowars, a website that frequently pushes conspiracy theories. The founder, Alex Jones, was one of the people banned by Facebook Friday, along with his website, Watson, alt-right speakers Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
So great to watch this! https://t.co/pYoiLjM0pz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2019
Facebook’s decision to remove the accounts is powerful, as deplatforming has been an effective measure in reducing the exposure and spread of misinformation. Yiannopoulos has gone into millions of dollars worth of debt and canceled several speaking tours after his removal from several platforms.
Twitter, which has been applauded for its ability to remove propaganda from ISIS quickly and effectively, has struggled to do the same with white nationalist content. A recent report from Motherboard read that Twitter’s struggles in doing so are tied to the fact that an all-out ban of white nationalist content like it does for ISIS posts and videos would result in the suspension and deletion of Republican politicians’ accounts.