The White House • July 13, 2019
Special edition: President Trump’s historic social media summit
President Donald J. Trump welcomed a group of digital communications leaders and online influencers to the White House on Thursday, where he hosted a first-of-its-kind summit on the importance of freedom of speech online.
“Each of you is fulfilling a vital role in our nation: You’re challenging the media gatekeepers and the corporate censors to bring the facts straight to the American people.”
Free speech and expression are at the core of American democracy. Censorship is not. It’s unacceptable that conservative voices continue to be unfairly stifled by some of the largest, most powerful media and technology companies in the world. The President has pledged that this bias, dishonesty, discrimination, and suppression will not stand.
While some in the media claim that the issue of tech bias is fake—or only anecdotal—multiple tech companies have admitted or been found to engage in selective censorship:
-Facebook and Twitter have repeatedly engaged in the shadow banning of conservative voices on their platforms.
-In 2018, Facebook issued an apology for wrongly taking down a political ad promoting now-Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) campaign.
-Google employees admitted to debating whether to bury news of President Trump.
The White House is taking action to stand up for free expression—online and everywhere else. A digital tool launched by the Trump Administration in May drew more than 16,000 responses from Americans sharing instances of tech bias. Following this week’s summit, President Trump will soon be meeting with representatives from the major social media platforms to discuss unfair practices.
President Trump is also directing his Administration to explore regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech, which he announced at the summit on Thursday.
“You communicate directly with our citizens without having to go through the fake news filter,” the President told summit attendees. “It’s very simple. Together, you reach more people than any television broadcast network, by far. It’s not even close.”
Joining the President on Thursday were Members of Congress fighting to protect free expression online—both for conservatives and for every American. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) all spoke about the importance of achieving more transparency, accountability, and freedom across online platforms.
Mainstream media says “there’s no censorship in social media”—they claim it’s “all made up,” Sen. Hawley said. “You and I know that that’s not true. You and I know the truth is that the social media giants would love to shut us down, they would love to shut us up … and we can’t let them.”