WASHINGTON – Roughly 45 minutes before President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at the White House social media summit, Twitter went down.
The social media service issued a status update explaining, “We are currently investigating issues people are having accessing Twitter. We will keep you updated on what’s happening.”
The service was back online shortly before Trump began his speech.
The outage came as the White House hosted an event on claims of bias in social media. Many of the figures who say they have been invited to the White House social media summit appear to be some of the biggest critics of social media. The White House has not released a list of attendees, but Google, Facebook, and Twitter were not invited.
Some of the figures who say they have been invited to the event include far-right users and conspiracy theorists. The attendee list includes people like James O’Keefe, the head of the controversial group Project Veritas, conservative activist Charlie Kirk, and John Matze, the CEO of Parler, a Twitter alternative used by Trump supporters.
The White House said the event, billed as the “Presidential Social Media Summit,” is designed so that Trump can hear directly from users, including those who responded to a White House request for examples of alleged bias.
In May, the White House launched an anti-“tech bias” form online asking internet users to submit examples of “political bias.” That outreach followed previous criticism from Trump of what he saw as bias from social media companies. In June, Trump told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that the tech companies should “be sued because of what’s happening with the bias.”
Contributing: David Jackson
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