On Thursday morning, Trump sent out a barrage of tweets previewing the summit, which he said will be “a big and exciting day at the White House for Social Media!”
But not necessarily a day to the liking of Silicon Valley’s internet titans. Trump tweeted that the summit will focus on what he called “the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies.” He followed that with a warning: “We will not let them get away with it much longer.”
Those companies apparently won’t be there to defend themselves. The White House didn’t extended invitations to Facebook and Twitter, anonymous sources familiar with the matter told CNN earlier this week. The White House didn’t disclose who’s been invited, but the sources said they wouldn’t be surprised by the exclusion of the two giants.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the social media giant wasn’t invited to the summit. Twitter and the White House declined to comment.
The choice to exclude Twitter and Facebook could stem from President Donald Trump’s complaints that the social media sites are politically biased against conservatives. Twitter and Facebook have repeatedly denied these accusations, but that hasn’t stopped Trump and other lawmakers from raising these concerns.
In March, Trump called the people behind Facebook, Twitter and Google “collusive” and said action should be taken against them. 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.
Trump has also accused Twitter of making it hard for people to follow him but has offered no evidence. The president met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in April and complained about losing followers. That month, representatives from Facebook and Twitter also testified at a congressional hearing and denied suppressing conservative speech.
Thursday’s summit “will bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” the White House said last month when it announced the event.
Trump’s presidency, and the campaign that led up to it, have been notable for the president’s vigorous use of Twitter, and Facebook was a factor as well during the 2016 campaign. In a tweet Thursday, Trump made light of that: “Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!”
CNET’s Queenie Wong contributed to this report.
Originally published July 8.Update July 11: Adds Thursday’s tweets by President Trump.
We tested 5G speeds in 13 cities. Here’s what we found: Faster speed versus more coverage. That’s the most important issue for 5G networks today.
We drowned AirPods, Powerbeats Pro and Galaxy Buds: We sprayed them, dunked them and even put them through the wash to find out which one of these three wireless earphones can handle the most water.
- Social media is an existential threat to our idea of democracy
- LeBron James breaks postseason social media blackout for great reason
- For women in sports journalism, social media 'can be an ugly place'
- Bryant unloads on Twitter about reactions to social media post
- MLB announces new deal for coverage in China, social media broadcasts
- LeBron James will shut down social media again for playoff run
- Joel Embiid jabs Towns to continue social media war
- New York Yankees release anti-bullying video after young fan's social media post
- Pouncey ‘not concerned’ about Martin’s social media post
- Hurricane 2018: Tampa Bay Times + social media = staying informed