Donald Trump Jr. warned of the large liberal influence that Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have on elections in an exclusive interview with Media Research Center president and founder, L. Brent Bozell.
Trump Jr. hammered Big Tech. He said that the companiesy should be “reined in” before 2020 becomes a “dry run for suppression” of free speech on social media platforms. Bozell said, “When you have got a social media industry world” that is “shutting down the pro-life movement,” and “the NRA and the pro-gun movement, systematically, that is a real threat.” Trump Jr. agreed, and added that Silicon Valley’s “leftist” problem was the real issue behind the tech companies.
“In the case of Mark Zuckerberg,” explained Bozell, the Facebook CEO believed that “we have to be the market of free ideas. But at a secondary level, they could care less about what happens to our company.” Trump Jr. asserted, “I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg is a conservative ... but I don’t believe he’s got full control of that ship.” He went on to say that “tens of thousands of employees” all believe the Silicon Valley “leftist” think.
He’s not alone in that view. Facebook engineer Brian Amerige said that tech employees “attack anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
“People shut me down for hate speech,” Trump Jr. said. He relayed the story of, when actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked by two white men in MAGA hats Trump Jr. explained how he was censored for asking questions and wrote an op-ed in The Hill in March detailing his experience of censorship. A post on Instagram from his account, questioning Smollett’s story, he said, was deleted for “hate speech.”
The president’s son continued:
“The really rich guy wanted to get Subway at two in the morning on the coldest night of the year. Obviously, white supremacists in MAGA hats who must be big fans of Empire knew he’d be doing that, so they’re walking the streets of downtown Chicago without getting shot. I don’t know guys. Jussie may be an average actor, but he’s a really bad writer. We ask this question — hate speech!”
After he called out the censorship, Trump Jr. said he received many messages from followers who reported censorship of the president’s account on Instagram. He said that they sent messages and videos of users liking a photo, posted by President Trump, of himself and his grandkids. “Next thing you’ve been locked out of your account for 24 hours for promoting hate speech. It never ends. The Second Amendment accounts, the Christian-type accounts.”
In August, the White House released an executive order that detailed the number of people who had been censored online. Over 15,000 people had complained to the Trump administration website that was built for reports of bias at the hands of social media companies.
Trump Jr. said to Bozell that “10 days ago,” he couldn’t find his own account on Instagram. He told Bozell, “I didn’t show up on the first six pages of the scroll. I have 2 million followers, I had maybe 75 million impressions that week, and I shared the name of the president of the United States with 15 million plus, neither of us show up. But Donald_Trump_Jr_86420$1, with two followers and one post, shows up on the front page.”
More action from the GOP was needed to respond to this issue, said Trump Jr. He warned, “I do want to see more action. So many conservatives never even understood that it’s even an issue. I mean, it’s an issue with the base, but leadership in the House and Senate didn’t get that it’s an issue with their people.” The tech companies needed to be “reined in” before the “dry run for suppression” began in 2020.
Trump Jr. called the actions of Big Tech a “major threat.” He explained, “I mean that’s how people communicate, that’s how people get their news, and because they say hey, I should be seeing the stuff that I follow, they assume that they are, but they’re not.” Many of his followers reported that they are seeing posts from “leftist news organizations” without signing up for them. “They’re not appearing as sponsored content,” he clarified.