May 4, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump retweets far-right extremist banned from Facebook, Instagram

In this image, Trump gestures to the right while standing behind a podium.

Trump at the 2019 National Day of Prayer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump retweeted far-right internet personality Paul Joseph Watson on Saturday, who was banned from Instagram and Facebook this week for spreading "dangerous" extremist rhetoric and violating hate speech policies.

Why it matters: Real-world hate crimes are putting pressure on Facebook and other platforms to crack down on pages and accounts that have repeatedly shared false information or hate speech. The president is expressing support for one of these extremist internet personalities through retweets.

What we're watching: On Friday, Trump announced he would continue to "monitor the censorship of American citizens on social media platforms," 1 day after Facebook and Instagram banned some extremist personalities.

Details: Trump also retweeted a video from a conspiracy Twitter account on Saturday that shows an interview clip of a man saying "conquering America" is part of the Muslim faith.

  • Recent instances of online hate speech frequently involve Islamophobia.
  • The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, a move some experts say would put increased pressure on Muslims in the U.S. According to Ned Price, a former CIA officer and former National Security Council official: "The 'vast majority' of branches of the Muslim Brotherhood — which was founded in 1928 in Egypt and now operates in many countries — do not espouse violence," NBC News reports.

Go deeper: Trump retweets anti-Islam videos from far-right British politician

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