Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump escalates war on social media at White House summit

Trump escalates war on social media at White House summit

All Americans have the right to speak freely, not just supporters of one political party or another, President Donald Trump told social media platforms at a White House "summit" featuring mainly influencers who have supported him.

Trump has skewered Facebook, Google and Twitter for months on allegations that they're biased against conservatives, even accusing them of trying to rig the election. Facebook, Twitter and Google have repeatedly denied these accusations.

It became as soon as, as President Trump promised, a colossal and thrilling day on the White Dwelling for Social Media.

President Donald Trump welcomed prominent conservative social media provocateurs to the White House on Thursday and said that along with himself, they are being treated unfairly by big tech firms, which he says suppress conservative voices.

The White House spokesman said about 130 people would attend, without providing a guest list.

"A lot of bad things are happening", he said. These tech giants have been under pressure to address a litany of online ills, including the rise of disinformation, three years after Russian agents spread falsehoods on social media during the 2016 election.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that firms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter - who were not invited to the summit - discriminate against him and his supporters, even though his own Twitter account has almost 62 million followers.

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Donald Trump's frustration with social media companies including Twitter Inc. only goes so far: aides say he has no intention, at least right now, to stop tweeting. That includes O'Keefe and Project Veritas whose secretly recorded video of Google drew Trump's praise on Thursday. Among them will be Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit, a site that's published right-wing conspiracy theories.

The Trump administration hasn't released a list of attendees. Trump clearly believes there is a degree of political censorship on social media and not to his benefit.

"We hardly do press releases anymore because if I put out on social media a statement, like I'm going to in a little while and something totally unrelated but a very important statement, now they're going insane", explained the United States president.

"After receiving thousands of responses, the president wants to engage directly with these digital leaders in a discussion on the power of social media", said White House spokesman Judd Deere.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, were also invited to the summit, according to Politico.

"If I have a spelling deal, they will put it on", the president said, drawing laughs from the audience.

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