US President Donald Trump’s fake news social media summit managed to go ahead without any of the major networks making a contribution.
Trump asked several leading American social media pundits and politicians to the White House to talk about online ‘opportunities and challenges’.
But the industry’s big hitters were cold-shouldered– leaving Facebook, Google, Twitter and the like without an invitation.
Instead right wing attendees included Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, pro-Trump activist Bill Mitchell and college Republican activist Charlie Kirk. Controversial cartoonist Ben garrison was invited but opted out.
Trump’s Twitter following boast
Trump took advantage of the event to boast about his Twitter following and applauded the attendees for their posting online without having to go through a fake news filter.
A Tweet posted after the summit revealed Trump’s real reason for speaking.
“Each of you is fulfilling a vital role in our nation – you are challenging the media gatekeepers and the corporate censors to bring the facts straight to the American People. Together, you reach more people than any television broadcast, BY FAR!” he wrote.
The summit is the latest in a long line of conflicts between the media and trump.
Now, the White House has launched a tool that allows people to report discrimination against their opinions on social media web sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Battle to be heard on social media
“Ultimately what is going on here is we are seeing a new form of adversarial media take shape,” said Joan Donovan, the director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center.
“Many of the people who are attending are avowedly partisan, and by banding together they are going to say they should be allowed to remain on platforms even if they break the terms of service.”
At the summit, Trump repeated his claim, without supporting evidence, that policies on major social media platforms and websites discriminate against conservatives.
More moderate groups are urging social media to ignore the summit and to ban users who spread bigotry.