May 6, 2019

Recently, Twitter and Facebook have been cracking down on conspiracy theory, race baiting hate sites and shutting down their social media sites. This infuriates Donald Trump to no end, because these sites help get his message out to folks most susceptible to buying into the bogus lies about the "deep state", Obama and Hillary conspiracies, fake news, rigging 2020, and Mueller madness.

So what has Trump been doing? He has been retweeting those very sites onto his own timeline, bypassing the ban from both social media giants, ensuring their message continues to get out.

What we now have is an Infowars President.

STELTER: First, a big move by Facebook, banning several accounts. Now new blowback by the commander in chief. President Trump's furious reaction to Facebook's action shows that he is, i'm sorry to say, the "info wars president." He is promoting the same alternative in info wars and sharing videos from repugnant characters. Full of fear mongering and conspiracy theorizing info wars tells viewers that the world is out to get him. Jones shows lies about Sandy Hook massacre but none of this hurts President Trump. Info wars' personality align with him. He even gave an interview to Alex Jones back on the campaign trail. Trump went on a twitter spree saying "it's so great to watch this while sharing a video from info wars."
Retweeted Paul Joseph Watson, one of the info war figures banned by Facebook. He retweet the a strange video about Islam. This is troubling stuff, a lot of it is troubling stuff.

At the same time the president is decrying Facebook's action. Facebook decided to block six users as well as info wars as an organization. The high-profile names include nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Six people, one organization banned and it's not just Facebook.

Trump has been complaining about twitter, how twitter suspends or briefly puts accounts into a time-out period. He's complaining about James Woods, the actor and right-wing actor star who is on a twitter time-out. Look, the president is clearly trying to tap into conservative concerns about right-wing censorship. How real are those concerns, though? How legitimate is this and how is Facebook deciding who should be banned in the first place? Joining me to discuss this is Oliver Darcy, CNN contributor Irin Caram. on and Judd Legum. Judd, let me start with you. you talked in the past about the president and his info wars. What are you seeing as the president goes on these retweet sprees?

LEGUM: Trump is doing this because he needs people to believe that Facebook is against him and that Facebook is biased against him because that's the only way that he has the space to operate on Facebook. His campaign, the 2020 campaign, he put the strategist in charge of his Facebook strategy, Brad Parscale, who is now the campaign manager. They're instituting exactly what they did in 2016, which is a whole series of ads that are misleading and so if they go after info wars for misleading content, if they go after Milo or any of these folks, he's going to be next. That's why he's doing that because he needs to be able to draw a -- he can't let them draw a distinction between what info wars is doing and what NBC or CNN or any mainstream media organization is doing.

STELTER: Even though what we get from info wars is conspiracy theory crap. In the wake of the Notre Dame fire, Alex Jones was talking about if it was arson, how the rest of the media was lying to you about what happened. Oliver, try to distinguish for us between -- when we talk about these topics and talk about these figures, why is it the six individuals were banned by Facebook? what makes them different from from others?

DARCY: These are very extreme individuals. No matter what anyone tells you, they are extremists and that's why with Facebook decided to get rid of them from the platform the other day. Back too your point about the info wars presidency, I want to know, I tweeted, what's the difference at this point between Trump's twitter feed and infowars might have been banned from twitter but it found a new home at Trump's twitter feed. While he's promoting and legitimizing this news organization we should talk about how he's trying to tear down credible sources for news, The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN. He was questioning why these news organizations have the ability to be on twitter.

STELTER: Why are they not banned?

DARCY: Right. saying infowars should be reinstated.

Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have made it clear that they will not censor Donald Trump, so it appears he has found a workaround to get the lies out to fire up the crazies.

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