By Tony Romm | Washington Post
The White House on Wednesday escalated its war against social media when it announced an unprecedented campaign asking Internet users to share stories of when they thought they were censored by Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter, tapping into President Donald Trump’s long-running claim that tech giants are biased against conservatives.
The effort, which the White House said on Twitter was directed at users “no matter your views,” seeks to collect names, contact information and other details from Americans. The survey asks whether they have encountered problems on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or other social media sites – companies the president frequently takes aim at for alleged political censorship.
“Too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies,” the survey claims.
In seeking supporters’ contact information, the White House also asked for permission to send email newsletters about “President Trump’s fight for free speech.”
The companies have long denied that they engage in political censorship. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook and Google also did not immediately respond. In a statement, Twitter stressed it enforces its rules “impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation.”
The effort marks Trump’s latest attack on the tech industry, which he has threatened to regulate in response to allegations that they censor right-leaning users and websites online. But it comes on the same day that the White House opted against supporting an international campaign to crack down on hate speech and other forms of extremism online out of concerns that even the symbolic pact could create free-speech headaches. The Christchurch call is named after a city in New Zealand where an attacker inspired by online hate killed 50 people.
The form asks people to detail whether Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube or others “took action against your account,” and asked for user names or links to users’ profiles or specific posts, such as tweets, that may have been flagged by one of the tech companies. The White House also asked to see copies of notifications that social-media sites sent to users when they take action against their posts, photos or videos.
Source: Mercury news
White House seeks ‘censorship’ stories from social media users