Trump vows to stop tech censorship ahead of White House social media summit
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that his administration will not allow social media giants’ discrimination against conservative users to continue, ahead of a White House summit with conservatives and Republicans to discuss the issue.
The Daily Beast reported that while a full, official invite list hasn’t been released, known attendees include U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee; representatives of the conservative organizations Prager University and Turning Point USA, and right-wing personalities Ali Alexander, “Gateway Pundit” Jim Hoft, Bill Mitchell, Joy Villa, and cartoonist Ben Garrison (who was later disinvited after critics highlighted a 2017 cartoon of Garrison’s that the Anti-Defamation League deemed anti-Semitic).
Representatives from Facebook and Twitter were not invited, CNN reported.
“A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies,” the president tweeted in a thread that quickly detoured into colorfully mocking the mainstream media and several Democrats running for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination. “We will not let them get away with it much longer.”
...The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media. They have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady. When I ultimately leave office in six...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
...or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas (1/1024th), as your President, rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius! Sorry to say that even Social Media would be driven out of business along with, and finally, the Fake News Media!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
There has been some consternation on the right over the White House declining to invite several individuals who have been most drastically impacted by social media crackdowns, such as online pundit Laura Loomer or anyone from Alex Jones’ conspiracy website InfoWars, both of whom were banned from Facebook in May as “dangerous” individuals or organizations.
“What benefit would it be to anyone if Laura Loomer were in the same room with the president?” an unnamed administration official told The Daily Beast. “Why on earth would we do that? We aren’t that stupid. Come on.”
Nevertheless, conservatives are awaiting with great interest the outcome of the summit, particularly whether it leads to the administration finally taking action against Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google for political bias and censorship.
In May, the White House launched an online form for those who “suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you” to share their stories with the president. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai told Congress last month that he considers “unregulated Silicon Valley tech giants” to be today’s “greatest threat to a free and open internet.”
While conservatives are divided on what the proper remedy is, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, has proposed legislation that would require social media platforms to certify their political neutrality with the FCC if they want to keep their congressionally-granted immunity from legal liability they allow users to post. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has also suggested that lawmakers consider applying existing antitrust laws to break up companies like Google, or exploring whether biased enforcement of what most users assume to be neutral and open forums constitutes fraud.