The Trump administration increased its conflict with the technology industry Wednesday, revealing a site that asks people who believe their views have been censored by social media platforms to share their stories – and their contact information.
President Trump, who seems to relish a little more than a tweet storm, has repeatedly attacked Google, Facebook and Twitter for what he claims is their bias towards and oppression by conservative users. The companies have repeatedly denied these charges.
The website released by the White House on Wednesday took these complaints to a new level and married the president's online complaints to a data acquisition operation that could help him mobilize potential audiences during his re-election campaign.
"Too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned or scam reported for unclear" user policy violations, "the site visitors tell." Whatever your views, if you suspect political bias has caused such action to be taken against you , you can share your story with President Trump. "
Then, ask for a wealth of personal information, including a visitor's first and last name, age, zip code, phone number, and citizenship status – before ending with a disclaimer, you can find in the package of a new technical gadget.
"Please confirm that you agree to the user agreement (which you can see at 45.wh .gov / 8kk5X2) and that you understand this form is for information retrieval only," the site visitors tell. "The White House cannot guarantee an answer to submissions."
Conservatives have increasingly focused on the technology industry as a battlefield in the cultural war, accusing companies that Google, Apple, and Facebook to abuse users expressing conservative views or voting for Mr. Trump.
Several technology executives, including Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, have testified about Capitol Hill or met Mr. Trump about the charges.
"We enforce the Twitter rules impartially to all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation," said a Twitter spokesman on Wednesday. "We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our efforts."
Facebook and YouTube refused to comment on the new White House site, which also asks visitors to share the URL of their social media accounts and
The president often credits Twitter with his political success, but he has eagerly attacked the technology industry and said that Congress should exercise greater oversight over its activities.
"They don't treat me well as a Republican," he wrote on Twitter in April, just before an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Dorsey. "Very discriminatory, difficult for people to log on. Take constant people from the list."
Mr. Trump attacked Twitter in July and accused the company of manipulating conservative posts so that they were essentially invisible to others people on the platform, a practice called "shadow ban". The company rejected that claim and said it did not shade anyone.
One month later, in a series of early morning tweets, Mr. Trump attacked Google. He accused the company of deliberately burying positive stories about his administration in the search results, which the company refused. Later that day, he warned Google, Facebook and Twitter that they "must be careful."
And in March, Dan Scavino, Social Media Director of the White House, charged Facebook after temporarily blocking him from responding to comments on his personal Facebook page. Mr. Trump announced that he would look at the block, which Facebook said happened because their systems had mistakenly flagged Mr. Scavino as a bot.
The conservative campaign against the Internet industry became more heated last summer after Apple, Google and Facebook removed content from Alex Jones, a far right conspiracy theorist who runs the Infowars site.
Mr. Jones interviewed Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential election (Mr. Trump told Mr. Jones, "Your reputation is amazing") and has been a vocal supporter of his administration.
This month, Facebook banned seven controversial accounts – most of the individuals are conservative, including Mr. Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart News editor – from the platform, challenging a new round of bias conservative bias.
Mr. Trump, who has resisted all the efforts of counselors and attorneys to limit his Twitter use, sees the social media platform as a critical tool in his presidency.
He routinely credits Twitter for his political success, calling it an "enormous platform" that allows him to bypass what he considers to be unfair media coverage and talk directly to his base of audience.
"I doubt I would be here if it wasn't for social media, to be honest with you," Mr. Trump said in a Fox News interview in 2017.