Trump invites conservative tech critics to 'social media summit' at White House: report

Trump invites conservative tech critics to 'social media summit' at White House: report
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The Trump administration has reportedly invited a group of conservative figures and organizations who have accused tech platforms of partisan bias to its social media summit later this month. 

The White House has extended invitations to Charlie Kirk, the executive director of Turning Point USA, and representatives from the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Media Research Center, according to The Washington Post.

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The newspaper added that PragerU, a conservative organization that produces videos about national issues, is also expected to attend the summit, which is slated for July 11

“Big tech needs to be held accountable for their actions, and the general public needs to be aware of what's going on,” Craig Strazzeri, PragerU's chief marketing officer, told the Post, before adding that he believed the organization's invite stemmed from its now-dismissed lawsuit against Google. 

PragerU, whose videos have garnered millions of views on Facebook and YouTube, has repeatedly contended that Google censored its YouTube videos. 

A federal judge dismissed the website's suit against the tech giant in March. 

The Post additionally notes that the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, has called on the Department of Justice to investigate the major social media platforms. 

“This has become a serious issue for a lot of people,” Kirk said, adding he expected the summit to address issues related to the size of Google. “They feel their voice is silenced, and they feel they're being de-platformed.”

The White House declined to comment on its plans to the Post. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

It remains unclear if representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter are attending the meeting. 

The three companies declined to comment to the Post. The companies would not comment to The Hill on the summit following its announcement last week. 

The White House last week unveiled its plans for a social media summit just hours after Trump accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of opposing him politically and trying to rig the election against him. 

“These people are all Democrats,” the president said in an interview with Fox Business. “We should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which perhaps we will."

He also accused Twitter of censorship, claiming that the platform was making it harder for him to distribute his "message."

Trump and other GOP lawmakers have repeatedly argued that companies in Silicon Valley have an institutional bias against conservatives. Trump has previously suggested that Google, Facebook and Twitter have colluded with each other to discriminate against Republicans.

The companies have all denied that politics play any role in their decisionmaking when it comes to content moderation.  

“There is zero evidence that social media companies are biased against conservatives,” Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings Federal court rules baseless searches of travelers' devices unconstitutional NBA's Enes Kanter speaks out against Erdoğan ahead of White House visit MORE (D-Ore.) said in a statement to the Post. “In fact, the big tech companies have gone to amazing lengths to avoid confronting right-wing voices that advocate hate and racial division. This summit is a waste of taxpayer dollars intended to pressure tech companies ahead of the 2020 elections and score political points.”