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White House launches initiative to combat bias by social media companies

'Monitoring and watching'

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House has launched an initiative to field complaints from people who think that they are the victims of bias by social media companies. Complaints are considered only if they come from people claiming to be U.S. citizens.

Here's what we know

"SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear 'violations' of user policies," the landing page for the White House form reads. "No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."

The quiz asks the user for basic information, including their name and whether or not they are "a U.S. citizen or permanent resident." Only the first name is required.

If someone says that they are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the form redirects to a page that states, "Unfortunately, we can't gather your response through this form. Please feel free to contact us at WhiteHouse.gov/contact."

However, if someone indicates that they are a U.S. citizen, more questions appear asking if the citizen is 18 years or older, for their zip code and email (required) and phone number (optional). It then asks which social media platform or platforms "took action against your account," and asks for a description of the incident and a link to any posts or tweets involved and any relevant screen shots.

What happens next?

The White House has not said what it plans to do with the information it gathers from this initiative.

The Trump administration has floated the idea of punishing social media companies before. On May 3, President Donald Trump tweeted about the "censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms, after Facebook permanently banned right wing conspiracy theorists and white nationalists Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Nehlen, Paul Joseph Watson, and Laura Loomer, and left-wing anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Trump promised that his administration was "monitoring and watching, closely!!"

One last thing…
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