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White House Launches Tool to Report Social Media Bias

Is social media biased against conservatives?

by Countable | 5.16.19

What’s the story?

  • President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly complained of bias against conservative voices on social media, is soliciting examples censorship from the public.
  • The administration has posted a website for Americans to submit complaints if they believe they were unfairly censored on platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

How does it work?

  • As seen above, users click over to this site, where they’re asked to share their stories of political bias with President Trump.
  • Visitors are first asked their full names, then if they’re U.S. citizens.
  • If a visitor clicks "yes," the form continues. If visitors click "no," a screen pops up saying: "Unfortunately, we can't gather your response through this form. Please feel free to contact us at WhiteHouse.gov/contact."
  • The tool asks which social media platform took action against their account, requests a link or screenshot of the post-in-question, and, if applicable, a notification from the platform.
  • The form also requests permission to add the user to an email newsletter so it could provide updates "without relying on platforms like Facebook and Twitter."

What are people saying?

  • Earlier this month, Trump attacked Twitter and Facebook after they banned a number of conservative and extremist figures from their platforms.
"I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms," Trump tweeted. “"It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media! This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!”
  • Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for the New York Times, wrote that the tool appears to be a data-collection scam from the White House.
“The thing about the Trump Facebook bias survey is it’s just going to be used to assemble a voter file, which Trump will then pay Facebook millions of dollars to target with ads about how biased Facebook is.”

What do you think?

Have you experiences bias on social media? Will you use the White House’s new reporting tool? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo courtesy White House)

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