The administration of Donald Trump, the complete nut who is still inexplicably President of the United States, will now increase pressure on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter to mend their purported anti-Trump political bias.
How will they do this?
Trump's White House is asking patriotic Americans to report to the White House any instances they encounter of social media critical of Trump, or instances where online speech by Trump followers is moderated or blocked.
Here's the official tweet, from earlier today, Wednesday May 15.
The Trump Administration is fighting for free speech online.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 15, 2019
No, this is real. There is now literally a White House form for reporting potential censorship of political views held by Trump supporters. This isn't a joke, but it's not for what they're saying it's for.
"Too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear 'violations' of user policies," according to the form, posted by the official White House Twitter account on Wednesday.
"No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."
This is, of course, garbage.
And the public form they tweeted for reporting cases of "bias" asks users for their full names and citizenship status.
From the Bloomberg report:
The form unveiled Wednesday asks for information on users — including their citizenship or residency status, email address and whether they're over 18 — then allows them to report on Facebook, its Instagram photo-sharing site, Twitter, YouTube or other sites. It then asks for links to accounts and relevant tweets, as well as what action was taken and screenshots of notifications.
"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." Representatives of Facebook and Google's YouTube video-sharing site didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
White House Urges Reporting of 'Political Bias' by Social Media [bloomberg.com]
More from Twitter, below.
Who needs Cambridge Analytica when folks can willingly hand out personal info https://t.co/L0JaBrEBAL
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) May 15, 2019
Really epic user agreement too. https://t.co/RDqgsOtXDA
Pretty shocking this email collection for fundraising gets to be a .gov
I mean, if you're still capable of being shocked. which nah.
— Quentin Hardy (@qhardy) May 15, 2019
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.
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) May 15, 2019
This is not necessarily a bad strategy, fwiw! If anything it means that "tech is biased" is probably outperforming other messages the WH is A/B testing for 2020, which is mildly interesting.
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) May 15, 2019
I can't see this being abused in any way, shape or form. (Though it does have a "prove you're not a robot" question.)
It's really childish, and basically an excuse to get people to sign up to get emails hassling them to donate to Trump.
A palace run by bitter children. https://t.co/3zz5SrwPHO
— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) May 15, 2019
?The White House just launched a tool for people to report if they feel they were censored by social platforms.
"No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."https://t.co/pJ0jcrRBds
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) May 15, 2019
This AM: Trump WH won't sign international call to action against online extremism citing free speech concerns: https://t.co/tZvOhVIZJs
This PM: Trump embarks on campaign to collect stories of tech bias, days after threatening to regulate social media https://t.co/uksBn88g0X
— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) May 15, 2019
Not only has this point been proven false over and over again, it has zero bearing on what private companies decide to do about their rules and enforcement. Even if these companies decided to kick everyone who subscribed to one ideology off, its their call.https://t.co/WQVYjcbJAY
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) May 15, 2019
The online form lists Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and an option for other social media accounts. pic.twitter.com/g225HOnFN9
— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) May 15, 2019
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) May 16, 2019