President Donald Trump is considering forming a commission to review anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the idea.
A potential White House-created commission would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, according to the report. The administration will also encourage the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to conduct similar reviews, the sources told the WSJ.
“Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,” a White House official told the paper.
The president told his Twitter followers in a May 16 tweet that his administration is pursuing ways to mitigate alleged conservative bias at Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
“The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” Trump wrote, adding: “working to remedy this illegal situation.”
Facebook dismissed the allegation.
“People on both sides of the aisle disagree with some of the positions we’ve taken, but we remain committed to seeking outside perspectives and communicating clearly about why we make the decisions we do,” the company said in a press statement.
Twitter also pushed back, as did Google and the Internet Association (IA).
“We enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation,” Twitter said in a statement to the WSJ.
Google builds its products with care and “safeguards to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without any regard for political viewpoint,” a spokeswoman for Google said in a statement addressing the report.
“Online platforms do not have a political bias, and offer more people a chance to have their voice heard than at any point in history,” Jon Berroya, interim president of IA, a trade group, told the WSJ.
Trump routinely addresses what he believes is Google and Facebook’s bias. His administration orchestrated a White House social media summit in 2019, inviting many popular conservative social media influencers to discuss ways in which big tech companies are supposedly harassing them.
“Somebody said he’s controversial,” the president said of activist James O’Keefe, who published several reports that year detailing what some conservatives believe is Google’s bias. “He’s truthful.”
Trump has skewered Silicon Valley in the past, telling his Twitter followers in March 2019 that he is looking into accusations that Facebook is suppressing content.