The White House has not invited Facebook and Twitter for a social media summit set for Thursday, some sources familiar with the matter have told CNN. The sources told they believe the social media summit would amount to a right-wing grievance session and was not aimed at seriously discussing some of the issues facing large technology companies.
The white house hasn’t disclosed yet who’s been invited, but the sources said they are not surprised by the exclusion of the two giant networks. The Washington Post has reported last week that the White House has asked to the event a number of right-wing luminaries who have been extremely critical of social media companies. Some of the individuals have claimed even without any evidence that companies like Facebook and Twitter regulate bias against conservatives and censor their speech, whereas the companies have denied those claims.
Republican lawmakers and conservative media personalities have for years lobbed claims of anti-conservative media bias at Silicon Valley companies. But at the meeting, President Trump has poured fuel to the fire. He attacked large technology companies on a regular basis and suggesting they need to be regulated by the government.
In March, Trump called the people behind Facebook, Twitter and Google “collusive” and said action should be taken against them. Later in May, the Trump administration launched a website that allows people to share examples of when they believe they’ve been suspended, reported or banned on social media because of political bias. Earlier this year in another meeting with Jack Dorsey who is the Twitter chief executive.
Trump asked him about the number of followers on Twitter. The president has suggested, without any evidence, that Twitter makes it difficult for his supporters to follow him. During this month, representatives from both also testified at a congressional hearing and denied suppressing conservative speech. Republican lawmakers in Congress have also held hearings over the past year in which they have questioned social media executives about their company practices and policies.
At one hearing last year, Republicans invited the pro-Trump social media duo “Diamond & Silk” to testify. The duo then spent the rest of the hearing spreading misinformation about social media companies. At other hearings, Republican lawmakers have cited information from right-wing sites like The Gateway Pundit to make their points. Thursday summit will combine the digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online media, environment, and the regulation policies.
For now, it is not clear why the White House has excluded the two main and widely renowned brands, maybe because of some controversies it created in the past few years.