‘It can turn around’: Trump would rather tolerate ‘fake news’ than accept ‘censorship’
Talking to his supporters at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, President Trump firmly warned them against embracing censorship of opposite viewpoints no matter how much opposite they are.
“You can’t pick one person and say ‘well we don’t like what he’s been saying, he’s out,'” Trump said, pushing back against censorship of any social media accounts, regardless of political affiliation. “You can’t have censorship,” he added, because “it can turn around, it can be them next.”
"So we’ll live with fake news. I mean I hate to say it but we have no choice because that’s by far the better alternative," Trump explained. “I would rather have fake news than have anybody – including liberals, socialists, anything – than have anybody stopped and censored.”
Trump has repeatedly accused US news outlets critical of the administration as ‘fake news.’ In addition to CNN, the president has called out the Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC, and other liberal outlets for spreading false and deliberately out-of-context information.
While on one hand defending the First Amendment, Trump in October of last year spurred a massive backlash after suggesting that the government must review the licenses of some news networks. “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?” he asked in a tweet. “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.”
Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
In addition to news outlets, Trump has also challenged social media platforms, accusing them of bias. Just this past weekend, Trump accused Silicon Valley giants of “totally discriminating” against users with right-wing views. The president’s comments came after several top social media platforms banned the accounts of controversial political commentator Alex Jones.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, the billionaire president called social media censorship “a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police,” adding that “if you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed.”
.....Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
“Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!” he said in one of his messages.
While speaking out against censorship, back in July Trump said that his administration will look into “shadow banning” practices on Twitter which reduce the visibility of certain people on the platform, which the US president believes affects the conservative voices.
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