Trump To Hold Social Media Summit Without Tech Firms Amid Censorship Battle
Social media giants refuse to comment on invitation to event
President Donald Trump's forum on social media may happen in the absence of the tech firms they are accusing of censorship and culling free speech, according to reports.
The event, which is set to launch on July 11, will give people the opportunity to against the companies rather than a peace conference.
But as the event draws closer, social media companies still have refused to comment on whether firms were invited or if they intend to attend.
Facebook's spokesperson Andy Stone declined to comment "on any aspect of it."
Twitter spokesman Ian Plunkett also declined to comment, admitting he could offer "nothing from our side.
Both YouTube and Google failed to reply.
White House spokesman Judd Deere announced the summit last week, describing it as an opportunity to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.”
A White House social media summit has been discussed for quite a while but hasn't grown to a large scale gathering.
In April, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey met with Trump in the Oval Office after Trump publicly claimed he was losing followers and "names are taken off, people aren't getting through."
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also visited the White House in December for a discussion about artificial intelligence, with Trump passing up an opportunity press Pichai about "Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good."
In May, Trump criticized the purge of conservatives from social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, declaring; "this is the United States of America."
The president addressed Facebook's branding of conservative due Diamond and Silk as "unsafe to the community," saying the situation "is very sad - and we’re looking into [it].
Google Execs Go Into Hiding, Delete Social Media After James O’Keefe Video | Neon Nettle https://t.co/Nit5tvJrjG— k (@kathysmith2k7) June 26, 2019
In what Trump described as "the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms," he went on to slam Twitter for banning actor-turned conservative commentator James Woods, and Facebook for purging Infowars editor and YouTube pundit Paul Joseph Watson.
"Something is happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter, and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it. It's very fair. It's collusive and very, very fair to say that we have to do something about it," Trump said in March.
Organizations have confirmed receiving an invitation for the summit including the conservative PragerU, who is int the processes of suing YouTube for alleged censorship.
Also invited is pro-Trump group Turning Point USA, who's director Candace Owens received a 2018 apology from Dorsey after her account was suspended.
Both the conservative Heritage Foundation and the conservative Media Research Center have confirmed their invites.
The summit comes amid Trump's criticism of the firms, adding they were trying "to rig the election," and that "what they’re doing is wrong and possibly illegal."
In May, Trump's administration launched a new tool designed to fight online censorship and big tech bias by allowing people to report instances where they have been censored, directly to the White House.
The online tool was launched on Wednesday and allowed Americans to report political censorship on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook directly to President Trump.