Published: Sun, July 14, 2019

What to expect at Trump's "social media summit" today

What to expect at Trump's

But while Twitter may not have been invited, the White House was happy to put up giant print-outs of some of Trump's favourite tweets, as noted by some of the right-wing media personalities and meme-makers in attendance. In doing so, the president also sought to rally his widely followed online allies, whom he described as "journalists and influencers" that together can reach roughly half a billion people, entering the 2020 presidential election. Repeatedly, the president also has threatened to investigate or regulate Facebook, Google and Twitter, sparking a series of hearings and similar calls for tough new laws among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

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.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, said he was attending the event. Despite his prevalent use of Twitter, Trump surmised he would have probably become president even without using it. That includes O'Keefe and Project Veritas whose secretly recorded video of Google drew Trump's praise on Thursday.

The Trump administration hasn't released a list of attendees.

When Mr Trump, who has more than 61 million Twitter followers, met with the site's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, in April, he spent significant time asking why he had lost followers, a source told Reuters. "We hope to see transparency, more accountability and more freedom". But the White House this week appeared to rescind its invitation, Garrison tweeted in a statement Wednesday, out of concern his presence would be a "media distraction from the president's message".


Elise Rhodes, a Parler spokeswoman, said that although the president did not mention the company directly, he "said he is interested in exploring other platforms that support free speech".

Mr Trump, a frequent tweeter, lashed out in a Twitter post before the event on Thursday at some social media companies and traditional news firms, saying, "The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media" and criticising what he said was unfairness by some firms.

"We hardly do press releases anymore because if I put out on social media a statement, like I'm going to in a little while and something totally unrelated but a very important statement, now they're going insane", explained the USA president.

Most social media platforms have policies that punish hate speech, violent content, and other reprehensible practices.

In his 50-minute address, Trump reflected on some of the spelling and punctuation mistakes he has made on Twitter, bemoaning how they are jumped on by the media. However Trump was interrupted during his address by a fly, which he admitted he doesn't like.

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