WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – President Donald Trump met with outstanding conservative social media figures on Thursday at a White Home discussion board the place he’s set to reiterate frustrations with massive tech companies for allegedly suppressing conservative voices.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks throughout a “social media summit” assembly with outstanding conservative social media figures within the East Room of the White Home in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Professional-Trump on-line personalities received collectively at what the White Home billed as a gathering of “digital leaders” the place invitees anticipate to debate what they are saying is censorship on social media platforms.
Consultant Kevin McCarthy, the highest Home Republican, mentioned he was attending the occasion. “We should do every little thing in our energy to guard free speech, defend our knowledge and #STopthebias” he wrote on Twitter earlier than the occasion.
Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, mentioned that as a substitute of specializing in “combating Russian social media misinformation, punishing anti-competitive practices, or defending People’ knowledge and privateness, the President has invited trolls, conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, and the entire feedback part to the White Home.”
Trump, a frequent tweeter, lashed out in a Twitter publish earlier than the occasion on Thursday at some social media firms and conventional information companies, saying, “The Pretend Information is just not as necessary, or as highly effective, as Social Media” and criticizing what he mentioned was unfairness by some companies.
“A giant topic as we speak on the White Home Social Media Summit would be the great dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by sure firms,” Trump wrote. “We is not going to allow them to get away with it for much longer.”
The Web Affiliation, a commerce group representing main tech companies like Fb, Twitter and Google, mentioned Thursday “web firms aren’t biased in opposition to any political ideology, and conservative voices specifically have used social media to nice impact.”
Carpe Donktum, a pro-Trump on-line persona who was not too long ago suspended by Twitter for eight days over a video depicting Trump as a cowboy attacking CNN journalist Jim Acosta, mentioned the face-to-face occasion might unite on-line conservatives.
Invitees mentioned that they had obtained little details about the occasion however in an announcement to Reuters, the White Home positioned it as follow-up to a web-based survey launched by the administration in Could for folks to report “suspected political bias” on social media.
“After receiving hundreds of responses, the president desires to have interaction straight with these digital leaders in a dialogue on the facility of social media,” mentioned White Home spokesman Judd Deere.
Republicans in Congress have held quite a few hearings on the problem of alleged conservative bias on social media shops. A Senate panel chaired by Republican Ted Cruz on Tuesday will maintain a listening to titled “Google and Censorship by way of Search Engines” that includes Google’s vp of public coverage Karan Bhatia.
The White Home spokesman mentioned about 130 folks would attend, with out offering a visitor checklist. Trump was resulting from ship remarks on Thursday afternoon after the occasion.
Trump made social media a key a part of his 2016 presidential marketing campaign however he and different Republicans have lengthy claimed that on-line platforms make use of ways to silence their voices, allegations that main social media firms have denied.
When Trump, who has greater than 61 million Twitter followers, met with the location’s chief govt, Jack Dorsey, in April, he spent important time asking why he had misplaced followers, a supply advised Reuters.
Reporting by David Shepardson and Elizabeth Culliford; Modifying by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell