Trump wants to know if you think Facebook and Twitter are politically biased – CNET

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Trump alleges that Google and other tech platforms lean to the left.


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President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused social media sites of being biased against conservatives.

Now his administration wants to know if you feel the same way too. On Wednesday, the White House launched a website that lets you share if you think your social media account has been suspended, banned or reported because of political bias. 

The online form asks a series of questions, including what social media platform took action against your account. The list includes Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube, Instagram or an option for other sites. It also asks for personal information, a link to your social media account and screenshots.

“No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!,” The White House said in a tweet about the new website.

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Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have banned far-right leaders from their platforms, but the tech giants have also denied that it's because of a user's political views. The White House's launch of the website illustrates the growing tensions between some of the world's largest tech companies and political leaders.

“We enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our efforts.”

This month, for example, Facebook booted Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who hosts InfoWars, as well as far-right commentators Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer from the social network and Instagram. The social network said the individuals violated its policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. A day after the ban, Trump said he was aware of the situation, saying in a tweet that he will continue to monitor the “censorship” of Americans on social media platforms.

In April, Facebook and Twitter representatives also testified in a congressional hearing and denied the accusations. 

Some free speech advocates criticized the White House's effort on Wednesday, arguing it could discourage social media platform from combating hate speech, misinformation and other offensive content.

“This misguided effort by the White House raises serious constitutional questions and could hamper the ability of platforms to moderate their platforms and take down such content,” John Bergmayer, senior counsel at the nonprofit Public Knowledge, said in a statement.

When asked about the criticism, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that the administration “wants to hear from all Americans – regardless of their political leanings – if they have been impacted by bias on social media platforms.”

Facebook and YouTube didn't immediately responded to a request for comment. 

Originally published May 15, 3:07 p.m. PT.
Update, 5:39 p.m.: Includes statement from Public Knowledge.
Updates, May 16: Includes statement from the White House.

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