Donald Trump Jr. is making waves on Instagram again, but thankfully, this time it has nothing to do with him posting memes of his father, President Donald Trump. Nope, now the eldest Trump son has locked horns with a social media giant over claims of censorship, and Donald Trump Jr.'s Instagram about allegedly being censored by Instagram will take you for a ride.
Trump Jr. flung a "bias" accusation at Instagram in his post on Tuesday, April 30. The eldest Trump kid accused the platform of deleting a photo of him with Army Sergeant Omar "Crispy" Avila at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Indianapolis at the end of April, initially posted on Avila's Instagram. But at some point, it appeared to have been taken down. On April 30, Avila reposted the photo saying he wasn't sure why Instagram removed it. "I honestly don’t know why this picture was taken down by Instagram... Not sure what guidelines it violates."
On May 1, Trump Jr. reposted the picture and wrote in all caps, "Instagram is at it again with their bias deleting posts." Trump Jr. followed that claim up with a rather lengthy caption calling Instagram out for allegedly deleting the picture just "because [he's] in it and that's too much for the social media gods in California." He then went on to say that Avila is a war veteran who works with wounded soldiers and shouldn't be censored. "The bullsh*t has to stop," he wrote. "If Instagram can censor a hero like this who the hell won’t they suppress???"
In an email to Elite Daily, a representative of Instagram says that the social media platform had not, in fact, removed the post, and that it did not violate community guidelines. However, they noted it's possible that the original post may no longer be accessible for a couple of reasons, including if the account holder themselves deleted the post or their account.
Elite Daily reached out to representatives for Trump Jr. and Avila for further comment on the posts, but did not immediately hear back.
If Trump Jr. complaining about censorship sounds familiar to you, it's because it's a road he's already been down. Back in March, Trump Jr. penned an op-ed for The Hill in which he outlined his "suspicions" about social media platforms allegedly censoring conservative content. He mentioned an earlier time Instagram allegedly took down something he posted regarding Jussie Smollett — who alleged he was attacked by men in MAGA hats, allegations which later came under question. Charges against Smollett were later dropped. Trump Jr. wrote in his March op-ed,
I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, 'accidentally' censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they've been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they've had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.
Trump Jr.'s allegations echo ongoing conservative claims about so-called "shadow banning" on social media, in which a platform prevents a user's posts from appearing to their followers, as well as allegations that Facebook News had a liberal bias. Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram, have both denied any "shadow-banning" or biased practices, and Facebook did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for further comment about their algorithm and whether it suppresses conservative content.
Social media is often more trouble than it's worth, but I'm sticking around to see what Trump Jr. posts next. Even if I don't really want to.