Trump rips tech firms at 'free speech' summit

Clay Curtis
July 14, 2019

US President Donald Trump boasted about his spelling abilities at the White House's first social media summit on Thursday.

During Thursday's summit, Trump also crowed about how engagement on his tweets explodes "like a rocket" after he posts them - as opposed to more traditional White House press releases.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. In a meeting with conservative social media users, the US President said he would also invite Congress to the meeting and possibly his fans.

The White House spokesman said about 130 people would attend, without providing a guest list.

Trump said he might invite some of the conservative social media users back to the White House for the meeting with major social media firms. "I mean it's genius - but it's bad".

Trump's attacks often have come in response to efforts by Facebook, Google and Twitter to remove hate speech, threats of violence and other troubling content from their platforms.

Some of the conservatives that Trump consulted Thursday have adopted controversial tactics on social media - and even have been disciplined by Facebook, Google or Twitter for running afoul of their rules.

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Other eyebrow raising attendees include James O'Keefe, the guerrilla journalist whose group Project Veritas tried to trick reporters at the Washington Post by planting a source who told the paper that she had been impregnated as a teenager by failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore; Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA who sometimes posts misleading information on social media; and Benny Johnson, the journalist-turned-activist who was sacked for plagiarism by BuzzFeed and demoted at the Independent Journal Review for violating company standards.

But Trump has no intention in the near future of abandoning Twitter for Parler or any other service, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the decisions of the sites to use their own judgment to suppress the free speech of some but not others justifies greater scrutiny as to whether they, like other broadcast mediums that are classified as public utilities, warrant more oversight of their own.

The Daily Beast reported that while a full, official invite list hasn't been released, known attendees include U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; U.S. Sen.

In an early morning series of tweets, Trump said that the focus of the conversation would be "the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies", though he didn't mention any by name.

Twitter removed several fake accounts past year and in the process, Trump also lost almost 3 lakh followers. "We will not let them get away with it much longer".

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