Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2019

Trump to invite social media companies to White House to discuss ‘free speech’ online

If anything was discernible from the White House’s social media summit today, it was that President Donald Trump intends to bring representatives from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to the West Wing to talk about platform bias at some point in the future. When exactly? It’s not clear.

Right-wing figures and meme creators including Charlie Kirk, James O’Keefe, the pseudonymous Carpe Donktum, and the infamous duo Diamond and Silk, all came to the White House to promote their argument that conservative viewpoints are being censored on social media platforms. For nearly an hour, the president rambled about his follower counts and Twitter engagement. In between the riffing, he announced plans to begin “inviting the heads of social media companies to the White House over the next month.”

Twitter and Facebook declined to comment on the proposed meeting. Google has yet to respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

From the president’s comments, it appears that meetings with social media representatives will happen separately.

At the summit, posters were littered across the White House defining words like “doxing,” “demonetization,” “shadow banning,” and “deplatforming” for attendees, some of which featured a series of unfortunate typos. The “doxing” definition spelled publicly as “publically,” and “demonetization” — a noun — was misidentified as a verb.

At the end of the summit, Trump opened up for questions, but it looks as though that was open only to the right-wing figures who were invited. As former deputy assistant to Trump, Sebastian Gorka, posed the first question, as reporters filed out of the room and the live stream was cut.

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Trump to invite social media companies to White House to discuss ‘free speech’ online