White house denies plans to clamp down on Facebook, others

Nellie Chapman
September 25, 2018

Last month, Trump stepped up his attacks on big tech companies, warning them to be "careful", and slamming what he called "rigged" internet search results. Their worst suspicions seemed to come true Friday night, with the emergence of a draft executive order that called for almost every federal agency to study how companies like Facebook police their platforms and refer instances of "bias" to the Justice Department for further study.

"Because of their crucial role in american society, it is essential that american citizens be protected against acts of anti-competitive platforms online dominant", still shows the draft order.

Bloomberg has seen the Executive Order and says that while it does not name any specific company, it requests that all federal antitrust agencies "thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws".

"Social media is totally discriminatory against the republican votes, conservative", said Donald Trump on Twitter in August.

The order is in its early stages and has not been cleared by any other government agencies, the report added, citing an unnamed White House official.

Uncertainty Over Lost Production from Iran Sanctions Still Driving Upside Momentum
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"We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda", Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a company-wide email sent Friday. It said that political organisations still would be able to contact employees to receive basic training on using Facebook or for assistance on getting ads approved. "Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won't let that happen". "They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others".

The order notes that consumer harm, a key measure in antitrust investigations, could be assessed through the exercise of bias - which is likely to raise concerns about Mr Trump attempting to influence political judgements. This meeting on September 25 will help Sessions assess if there is a federal case to be made against the companies, the Bloomberg report said while quoting two individuals familiar with the matter.

The possibility of an executive order emerged as Attorney General Jeff Sessions prepares for a on Tuesday briefing by state attorneys general who are already investigating the tech firms' practices. At least one of the attorneys general participating in the meeting has indicated he seeks to break up the companies.

It is notable that even on the Right, there are concerns about a Trump administration crackdown on social media businesses.
But these social media sites say that there is no political bias on their part.

In written testimony to U.S. lawmakers in June, Facebook said its employees had not spotted any misuse "in the course of their interactions with Cambridge Analytica" during the election.

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