U.S. President Trump accused American social media giants from interfering with the 2016 presidential election and expressed concerns they’re looking to do the same with this year’s mid-terms. In an interview with The Daily Caller, the head of the state said “the truth is they [Internet juggernauts] were all on Hillary Clinton’s side” during the last election cycle, describing that alleged behavior as “the true interference” in the U.S. democratic process. The remarks are in line with the rhetoric President Trump has been pushing for over a year now in regards to the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller who’s still probing foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential race, having already indicted 25 individuals and three companies from Russia over the matter.
President Trump often referred to Mr. Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt” and accused the DNC of being the party that actually colluded with Russia, without ever substantiating those claims. Over the course of this summer, the head of the highest office in the country repeatedly accused Google, Facebook, and Twitter of censoring conservative voices on the Internet, suggesting their alleged behavior is illegal and threatening with federal investigations. The accusations that the Silicon Valley dismissed in their entirety on several occasions are yet to be elaborated upon, with the evidence provided so far coming down to what the tech industry claims are isolated incidents.
Top Facebook and Twitter officials are currently attending a hearing on the matter with a Senate committee, whereas one Google SVP was told his presence at the gathering wasn’t needed last month. Lawmakers did ask for Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Alphabet CEO Larry Page but the pair declined their invitation. All three Internet giants and their subsidiaries recently disclosed they’ve been combating new misinformation campaigns originating from Russia and Iran. The legislative pressure meant to push the tech industry to up its fight against fake news and similar public manipulation attempts sponsored by foreign agents is likely to increase as the November mid-terms approach but the White House is still signaling that it sees those proven and widely identified interference campaigns as a non-issue.