Donald Trump is hosting a social media summit at the White House this Thursday, but two of the largest social media companies – who happen to be frequent targets of the president – aren’t getting an invite. According to CNN, Twitter and Facebook were snubbed by the president for a meeting that aims to discuss the technological challenges facing tech companies.
Although the White House hasn’t made the guest list public for the upcoming summit, insiders say that Trump doesn’t plan to invite the two companies because the summit is likely to be more of a “right-wing grievance session” and not a serious conversation aimed at addressing the very real challenges that tech companies are currently facing. Reportedly, Trump has invited right-wing leaders who have been critical of the social media companies, further adding to concerns that the meeting won’t address broader concerns.
Trump has often attacked Twitter, claiming that the social media giant censors conservative voices and has removed his followers.
“Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!” he tweeted in June.
“I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!” he said on Twitter in May.
Also that month, the White House launched a tool that allows people to report potential political bias on the major social media sites, according to The Verve.
I will be attending the White House Social Media Summit on July 11th, 2019 in Washington, DC. I thank President Trump for the honor of this private invitation.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) July 2, 2019
“No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump,” the new tool urges users.
Twitter has defended itself, saying that it bans and limits users impartially and regardless of political leaning.
Trump met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to discuss what the social media site and how it impacts users. However, insider reports at the time said that the meeting ended up being 30 minutes focused on the president’s concerns about losing followers.
Dorsey told Trump that his loss in users was likely due to bots being removed from the site and had nothing to do with political censorship.
Trump has also attacked Facebook for what he perceives to be its liberal bias and history of censoring conservative voices, something the company has denied.
The White House announced the summit in June as an event to gather tech leaders to address the challenges of the online universe.