The social media summit in Washington, DC was created to discuss social media bias. What was surprising was that neither Twitter nor Facebook representatives were invited to the summit. The meeting with US President Donald Trump and attendees from a variety of disciplines took place on Thursday.
What Happened at the Summit?
A White House spokesperson explained that earlier in 2019, the White House launched a tool for Americans to share how they have been affected by bias online. After reviewing the responses from this tool, Trump wanted to engage with digital leaders in person to discuss how powerful social media really is in today’s world.
One of the major points mentioned at the summit was the feeling that conservatives were being censored online. While some agree, others applauded the fact that social media was setting standards as to what was allowed online in terms of decency. Among other topics mentioned at the summit were:
Who Comprised the Guest List?
The White House did not give much comment on the attendees but some guests made themselves known including a radio host named Bill Mitchell, activist Ali Alexander, guerrilla journalist James O’ Keefe, and founder of right-wing student group Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter were reportedly not invited to the summit. While there was not a clear explanation as to why, sources claim that both sites have clashed with the President over allegedly removing his followers on Twitter and pulling campaign ads that Facebook deemed to be sensationalist.
A New York Times count found that in regards to his loss of followers on Twitter, the company had decided to purge fake accounts. The President was quoted as saying he plans to bring in the big companies separately to speak with them in a meeting.
The Power of Social Media
Regardless of what points the summit was able to touch on, there is no denying that social media is, in fact, a powerful tool. The number of users can be broken down as follows:
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