Right-wing radio host accuses Trump’s Truth Social of censorship for putting warning on his post about killing public officials

Conspiracy theorist uses Telegram to say ‘free speech isn’t free’

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 23 February 2022 19:16 GMT
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Conspiracy theorist and radio host Stew Peters appeared to learn the hard way after his call for US government officials to be executed was censored on Truth Social.

Mr Peters, who has fiercely pushed conspiracy theories about Covid in recent months, immediately found himself on the wrong side of Truth Social – which launched on Monday – with a post about children and Covid shots.

“I’m ALREADY being censored on Truth Social,” he complained on Telegram – the social media space currently favoured by the American far right. “Want to know what I said?”

“I said, ‘The people in our government responsible for allowing our kids to be killed with these dangerous Covid shots, should be put on trial and executed,” revealed Mr Peters, along with a screenshot of his tirade on Truth Social.

“Free speech isn’t free,” he added without apparent irony.

Truth Social was advertised with pro-“free speech” credentials before it finally became available for Apple users in the United States on Monday. Demand was seemingly so high that many were forced to enter a waiting list to join.

The app is the brainchild of former US president Donald Trump and his longtime ally and former Republican congressman Devin Nunes, who began by immediately banning accounts mocking him.

That included an account called “DevinNunesCow”, who Mr Nunes has attempted to sue for defamation following years of ridicule on Twitter by comedian Matt Ortega, who later joked: “I may be the first officially ‘cancelled’ Truth Social user”.

A post shared by conspiracy theorist Stew Peters on Telegram (Stew Peters / Telegram)

The post by Mr Peters that was censored by Truth Social apparently came with a warning of “sensitive content”, in a sign that despite Mr Trump and Mr Nunes’ promises of “free speech”, their app would in fact monitor content for harmful speech.

Mr Peters’s claims about Covid shots “killing” people were also false.

According to tech dirt, a San Francisco-based company called Hive was working with Truth Social and its earlier beta version to weed out harmful content. That was thought to include posts calling for Truth Social users to “storm the Capitol,” as the DailyDot revealed on Tuesday.

The app’s terms and conditions prohibit users from expressing “offensive or sexual content”, depictions of “violence, threats of violence or criminal activity,” and speech that is “false, inaccurate, or misleading”.

Republicans including Mr Trump have long accused Twitter and Facebook of stifling so called “free speech” and for “cancelling” users who breach their terms and conditions, including himself and fellow party member Marjorie Taylor Greene, a House Republican.

She was among those on the Republican right to say they would sign-up for Truth Social ahead of its Monday launch, which also encountered some technical difficulties. The app is expected to be running fully by March, although it is unlikely to attract users on the left.

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