Trump Is Considering Forming a Panel to Review Complaints of Anti-Conservative Bias Online: Report

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, President Donald Trump is thinking about forming a panel to review allegations of anti-conservative bias. (Photo: Denis Charlet, AFP via Getty Images)
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, President Donald Trump is thinking about forming a panel to review allegations of anti-conservative bias. (Photo: Denis Charlet, AFP via Getty Images)

After years of complaining of online bias against him, President Donald Trump is thinking about doing something about it — again. The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump is considering forming a panel to review (so far unsubstantiated) allegations of anti-conservative bias on social media, which could include the creation of a White House commission focused on online bias and censorship.

Other plans on the table include asking the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to review instances of supposed bias. Per the Journal, which did not name its sources, Trump’s plans are still under discussion. It cited a White House official who expressed concern about left-wing bias online.

“Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,” the official told the Journal.

Trump has been accusing tech giants of suppressing conservative views for years and has claimed that social networks disproportionately ban or limit right-wing users and content. He has warned that he would take action on the matter in the past. Just last year, the White House launched a campaign to collect the experiences of users who had been suspended or banned by platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In addition, in August officials at the White House drafted a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, although such an executive order ultimately never materialised.

The president himself spoke about this issue in a tweet last week.

“The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” Trump said. “The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation. Stay tuned, and send names & events.”

When asked about Trump’s proposal by the Journal, Facebook said that people on both sides of the aisle disagreed with some of the positions it’s taken. Facebook owns Instagram, which was called out in Trump’s tweet. Twitter, meanwhile, said that it enforced its rules “impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation.”

Tech companies are allowed to moderate the content on their platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. According to the Journal, the Trump administration is also considering new recommendations to change protections offered by Section 230, which shields companies from being sued for content that their users post.

Companies have long denied that they suppress users or their content for their political views, arguing that they take action because individuals violate their platform’s terms of use and rules about harassment and hate speech.

It’s not clear whether Trump will finally get this anti-conservative bias panel. He’s tried before, after all. If he does, we’ll probably find out in a tweet.

[The Wall Street Journal]