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US Justice Department may delay state AG meeting relating to social media: source

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The Justice Department is considering delaying a meeting with state attorneys general planned for next week to discuss concerns about conservative voices being stifled on social media, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The Justice Department said last week it had invited a bipartisan group of 24 state attorneys general to attend the Sept. 25 meeting. So far, the attorneys general of California, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas have said they would attend.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the meeting after President Donald Trump criticized social media outlets for what he said was unfair treatment of conservatives. Antitrust issues are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.

The Justice Department is considering holding the discussion during a November meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, the source said.

The NAAG meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27-29 in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the group’s website.

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Companies like Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Google owner Alphabet Inc have been accused by some conservatives of seeking to exclude their ideas. The companies deny any such bias.

Representative Greg Walden, chair of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a hearing earlier this month that Twitter had made “mistakes” that, he said, minimized Republicans’ presence on the social media site, a practice conservatives have labeled “shadow banning.”

At the hearing, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged the incidents had occurred and said that Twitter’s algorithm had been changed to fix the problem.

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bernadette Baum


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Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments

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Donald Trump in coal helmet thumbs up

If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.

And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.

His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:

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UK prime minister hopefuls slam Trump tweets — but refuse to call them racist

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The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both condemned on Monday US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen as "totally offensive" and "totally unacceptable".

But front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to call the tweets racist when pressed to do so during their last debate before next week's announcement of who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.

May's spokesman had earlier said that the outgoing leader's view was that Trump's comments were "completely unacceptable".

On Monday Trump doubled down on a series of his tweets from the day before urging the four congresswomen of colour to "go back" to the countries they came from.

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New Zealand prime minister condemns Trump’s racist tweets

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday joined international condemnation of US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen.

Ardern, the charismatic young leader who has been hailed as "the anti-Trump" by US media, said she proudly celebrated her country's diversity.

"Usually I don't get into other people's politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him," Ardern told Radio New Zealand.

Trump on Sunday urged a group of four Democratic congresswomen of colour -- three of them US-born -- to "go back" to the countries they came from, then renewed his attack on them a day later.

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