Time to regulate big tech? For President Trump, it’s time to at least bash several tech giants for what he said is unfair favoritism towards liberals and Democrats.
When asked by CNBC’s Joe Kernen on Monday morning if Facebook, Amazon and Google should be broken up, the commander-in-chief sidestepped the question in favor of ripping the companies.
“Well, I can tell you they discriminate against me,” Trump said during a phone interview. “You know, people talk about collusion. The real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies. Because they were so against me during my election run.”
The president added: “Everybody said, if you don’t have them, you can’t win. Well, I won. And I’ll win again.”
The president’s criticism comes after Sen. Ted Cruz complained this weekend that Twitter routinely recommended he follow Democrats rather than a mix of political voices, but it’s unclear if that sparked the Monday rant. Still, it wasn’t the first time the president has ripped Silicon Valley.
“Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices,” the president tweeted last summer. “Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen.”
Last month, the White House released a tool allowing citizens to report “political bias” on social media. The “Tech Bias Story Sharing Tool” asks users to give some background on themselves — including their email, phone number and U.S. citizenship status — before sharing “what happened on social media.” Users can select from a list of tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, that took action against them, and explain what happened in their own words.
Major tech companies, on the other hand, have consistently denied having an overwhelming focus on conservatives.
“Impartiality is our guiding principle,” Twitter chief Jack Dorsey told Congress last year.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, in his own 2018 visit to Washington, D.C., said he understands why conservatives are worried about censorship, since Silicon Valley “is an extremely left-leaning place.” He added he was concerned about this, too, and the company was doing what it can to make “sure that we don’t have any bias in the work that we do.”
The tech industry has come under increased scrutiny in recent months, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushing a plan to breakup major companies like Facebook and Twitter.