The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

On Twitter, Trump accuses ‘social media’ of limiting free speech of conservatives

President Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on June 15. (Evan Vucci/AP)

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump on Saturday waded into the growing debate over the role of social media companies in policing public discourse, accusing them of “totally discriminating” against Republicans and conservative commentators.

In morning tweets from his private resort in Bedminster, N.J., the president suggested the companies, which he did not name specifically, were engaging in censorship.

“Too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad, and that cannot be allowed to happen,” Trump wrote. He added that “mistakes are being made” and vowed that his administration “won’t let that happen.”

The president’s remarks came two weeks after YouTube, Apple, Spotify and Facebook took down Web pages operated by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a Trump supporter and radio-show host who had the president as a guest during Trump's 2016 campaign. Twitter followed suit this week in suspending Jones's account for posting a show that violated the platform's rules against violent threats.

Social media companies, with platforms that reach hundreds of millions, have been the focus of an intensifying debate over their responsibility to limit the spread of misinformation. Online activists have targeted Jones and others, forcing some advertisers to drop support of the programs.

Online activists hit hatemongers like Alex Jones where it hurts the most — in the wallet

In his tweets, Trump said it was “absolutely impossible to police” the sites and, as he has done often, suggested that mainstream news organizations whose coverage he does not like are “Fake News.”

The president has lashed out angrily at the ongoing investigation from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russia's alleged influence campaign in the 2016 election, including potential ties to the Trump campaign. Among other things, Russian operatives have been accused of spreading false information through ads on Facebook.

In another tweet, the president said that it wasn't just Russia that might try to interfere in elections.