President Trump hosted the “Social Media Summit” Thursday at The White House.
President Trump is hosting on Thursday a social media summit with some of his biggest social media supporters and some lawmakers. Facebook and Twitter have reportedly been excluded from the meeting.
Despite that The White House has kept quiet about the guest list, it seems that those who are invited, however, are conservative tech critics who have long accused sites like Twitter and Facebook of suppressing conservative views and orbit around Trump’s Twitter star. White House officials such as social media director Dan Scavino, a top Trump confidant and longtime aide, have taken the lead on forming the summit’s agenda and assembling its eclectic guest list, according to The Daily Beast.
Among the conservative organizations that are expected to participate in the White House meeting: Turning Point USA; PragerU, short for Prager University, which puts out short videos with a conservative perspective on politics or economics; and the Washington think tank Heritage Foundation.
According to The Washington Post, the planned White House meeting comes weeks after the Trump administration embarked on an unprecedented online campaign to collect stories about alleged censorship on social media, along with supporters’ contact information. The White House since has disabled the survey, but it recently replaced it with a web page that says the administration received “thousands of responses.”
In a time where Facebook, Google and Twitter long have struggled to battle back allegations in Washington that they censor conservatives online, it would seem imperative that a serious debate should occur between the two forces, but reports reveal the meeting may be headed towards a fact-free reality TV stunt.
Through a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the administration opted to convene the event after hearing from “thousands” of Americans across the political spectrum that they had been affected by bias online. He said Trump “wants to engage directly with these digital leaders in a discussion on the power of social media,” but he declined to provide a full list of attendees.
Trump continues to attack those same social media platforms that have been so key to his success. Despite his estimated 61 million followers on Twitter, he has accused the social network of making it “very hard for people to join me” and “very much harder for me to get out the message.”
In reality, according to the Wall Street Journal, the summit was never about making changes to the social media landscape, but rather about giving Trump an opportunity to fire up his online base for the upcoming election. “It’s all about 2020,” Paul Gallant, said a policy analyst for investment bank Cowen Inc., reported the Huffington Post. “The base that the media and internet companies are against us” and pressure “Facebook, Twitter, and Google to tilt content in Trump’s direction.”
Click here to see how The White House social media summit was full of hypocrisy — and comedy, according to The Verge.