Former US President Donald Trump has been compared to a fictional character in the Harry Potter novels, Lord Voldemort, after it was reported that his latest interview was removed from Facebook because it apparently violates the company's policies. The 45th president was interviewed by Fox News correspondent and daughter-in-law Lara Trump. This was his first on-camera interview since he left office.
However, several minutes before it was uploaded on Facebook, the company allegedly sent an email to Lara Trump's team telling them the interview would be removed as all content featuring Trump's voice is banned on its platform. Facebook has not commmented on the issue yet.
The correspondent compared the move to the dystopian novel "1984" penned by George Orwell. In the book, people who disagree with the government become "unpersons" and disappear with all evidence of their existence destroyed.
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The news drew ire among conservatives-leaning audiences. Attorney and legal scholar Jonathan Turley said Trump has been turned by social media into "he who must not be heard" (a reference to Voldemort in Harry Potter, who was called "he who must not be named"). Turley noted that such actions deepen divisions in the United States.
Facebook declared that it would censor any content “in the voice of Donald Trump.” It appears that Trump has achieved Voldemort status on social media and is now “he who must not be heard.” https://t.co/oLKOxaMskl— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) March 31, 2021
...Now Democratic calls for "robust content modification" includes censoring the voice of Donald Trump. It is not just censorship but senseless. These companies are trying to erase an unpopular figures but in doing so they are only deepening the divisions and anger in our country— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) March 31, 2021
Senator Lindsey Graham accused Big Tech of waging war on conservatives, while political commentator Todd Starnes claimed that Facebook deleted the interview because it can't handle the "truth" the ex-president speaks.
Big Tech’s war on conservatism and all things Trump needs to stop.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 31, 2021
Now, @Facebook has decided @LaraLeaTrump cannot interview her father-in-law.
Who makes these decisions? The liberals running Big Tech.
Ordinary social media users deemed Facebook's decision "un-American" and said it prompts concerns about the future of the United States.
This is so un-American.— Bern Storage (@BernStorage) March 31, 2021
We cannot let this stand, What can we do??
We must take action. Call your representatives!
😢America, as we know it is doomed!— zayacz (@zayacz) March 31, 2021
Others called for a boycott of the social media platform.
Time to boycott them....— ted 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇦🇺 (@ted71afc) March 31, 2021
Dump FB— sk (@pickles_couger) March 31, 2021
Many users noted that by banning Trump from their platforms social media companies are making him more popular instead.
Which will make his voice be more sought after than it ever was before.— Laura 🌺 Bella 🙏🏻🇺🇸🐾 (@Bellagal7) April 1, 2021
However, many netizens defended the social network and said Trump should not be allowed to appear on Twitter and Facebook due to his alleged role in the deadly Capitol protests.
An insurrectionist should never be allowed on social media.— Dianne Callahan (@DianneCallaha16) March 31, 2021
Anyone who incited a riot against America’s voters, deserves everything they get. 😁— Idealist_me (@me_idealist) March 31, 2021
What Did Trump Say During the Interview?
During the 18-minute conversation, the Republican touched on a number of issues from his rival in the 2020 presidential elections, Democrat Joe Biden, to the cancel culture. Trump again hinted that he will run for president in 2024.
"You do have hope, that I can tell you, you do have hope. We love our country, this country, we all owe a lot to our country, but now we have to help our country", the 74-year-old responded to a question about whether he'll throw his hat in the ring in the next presidential elections.
Trump harshly criticised Joe Biden for the ongoing migrant crisis along the nation's southern border. The Republican claimed that many migrants say the Democrat's lenient policies were the reason they decided to travel to the United States.
"We had the best southern border that we've ever had and in one day he [President Biden ] said, 'Everybody come up', and and what's going on now is something compared to what's going to take place during the summer", Trump said.
Other statements he made during the interview include:
- Trump blasted biased media coverage of Biden's fall on Air Force One's stairs. The Republican said the media covered it for weeks when he walked "inch by inch" down a ramp at the US Military Academy at West Point in 2020. "…and this guy falls down three times, he couldn't get up, the third time he didn't know where the hell he was. And it was not on the evening news, other than a couple of networks", Trump said.
- The 45th president ripped cancel culture and the "woke left", which he said had damaged the country's reputation internationally. The president said one has to learn from history "whether it is good or bad" and warned against obliterating the past.
- He spoke again about his plans to start a new social media platform.
- Trump accused the media of suppressing the New York Post's expose on Hunter Biden, son of president Joe Biden and claimed he would have had a ten point difference during the past election if the media had not hushed up the story. The New York Post wrote that the elder Biden was involved in his son's business dealings overseas during his tenure as vice president of the United States, which the newspaper said may constitute conflict of interest. The New York Post said it obtained the information from a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter Biden.