President Donald Trump is again putting pressure on technology companies, telling Reuters in an interview published Monday that it’s “very dangerous” when social platforms like Twitter and Facebook self-regulate content.
“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump said.
Major social media companies have for months been responding to claims that they censor conservatives. Trump last monthcalled Twitter “discriminatory” and accused the company of “shadow banning” prominent Republicans by de-emphasizing certain accounts from search results.
Trump’s latest comments come just two weeks after big tech companies suspended or banned conservative radio host Alex Jones for violating community policies. Facebook was among the earliest to remove a post by the InfoWars host after Apple took down several of his podcasts. Twitter was later to act, but ultimately suspended Jones for a week.
Both Twitter and Facebook are private companies, giving them the legal standing to ban accounts that they say violate their guidelines or terms of service.
Representatives for the companies have appeared before Congress several times in the last year to address claims of censoring conservatives. Twitter has repeatedly said it doesn’t shadow ban, and Facebook said it doesn’t moderate content based on political beliefs.
The companies have been ramping up content moderation and hiring more human fact-checkers to rein in abuse. During the 2016 presidential election, Facebook and Twitter were both used by foreign actors, who sought to play up political divisions around social issues.