The White House has described the summit as a “robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.”


Marguerite Reardon/CNET

The White House hasn’t extended invitations to Facebook and Twitter for a social media summit set for Thursday, anonymous sources familiar with the matter have told CNN. The White House hasn’t disclosed who has been invited, but the sources said they wouldn’t be surprised by the exclusion of the two giants. 

A choice to exclude Twitter and Facebook could stem from President Donald Trump’s complaints that the social media sites are politically biased against conservatives. Twitter and Facebook have repeatedly denied these accusations, but that hasn’t stopped Trump and other lawmakers from raising these concerns.

In March, Trump called the people behind Facebook, Twitter and Google “collusive” and said action should be taken against them. In May, the Trump administration launched a website that allows people to share examples of when they’d been suspended, reported or banned on social media because of political bias

Trump has also accused Twitter of making it hard for people to follow him but has offered no evidence. The president met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in April and complained about losing followers. During that month, representatives from Facebook and Twitter also testified at a congressional hearing and denied suppressing conservative speech. 

Thursday’s summit “will bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” the White House said last month when it announced the event.

Twitter and the White House declined to comment. Facebook  didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

CNET’s Queenie Wong contributed to this report.

Originally published July 8 at 6:15 a.m. PT
Update, 11:15 a.m.: Addsbackground


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