President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter to allege social media companies are discriminating against prominent conservatives, saying “we won’t let that happen.”
“Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others......." the president tweeted.
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.....Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all.”
Trump in July said his administration will look into the practice of “shadow banning” on Twitter, or reducing the visibility of certain people or groups on the platform, which he alleged was happening to prominent conservative voices.
Conservatives have long complained about unfair treatment on social media platforms, which they see as bastions of Silicon Valley liberal views.
The president later added: "....Too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad, and that cannot be allowed to happen. Who is making the choices, because I can already tell you that too many mistakes are being made. Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!"
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is slated to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian election interference, along with executives from Facebook and Google, on Sept. 5.
Staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have raised the possibility of subpoenaing Dorsey to testify before the panel on the company's data and content policies, according to a source familiar with the discussion.
In a CNN interview broadcast Saturday, Dorsey defended his company's practices: "Are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? We are not. Period. We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior."
He added: "I think we need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left, is more left-leaning."
The Trump administration on Friday charged Facebook with violating housing discrimination laws. The company has denied the charge.
Trump has some 53.8 million followers on Twitter, where he frequently delivers policy announcements and attacks on his political rivals and the media. In October 2017, the president suggested he would challenge NBC’s broadcast license, although the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t directly license networks.