Trump, Twitter CEO chat at White House after fresh attack on social media giant

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WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump met with Twitter Inc’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, hours after attacking the social media company over his claims it is biased against conservatives.

“Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialog!” Trump tweeted, posting a photo of Dorsey and others with him in the Oval Office.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump suggested Twitter was biased against him without providing evidence. He wrote on Twitter that the company does not “treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory.”

Twitter said in a statement Dorsey had a “constructive meeting with the president of the United States today at the president’s invitation. They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis.”

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chairman of Twitter Inc. and founder and chief executive officer of Square Inc., pauses while he speaks to the media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. Square Inc., the mobile payment startup founded by Dorsey, is giving small merchants more flexibility in how they pay for credit-card transactions, increasing competition with PayPalâs rival card reader. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chairman of Twitter Inc. and co-founder and chief executive officer of Square Inc., stands for a photo following an interview at Just Baked Cupcakes in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. Twitter Inc., which announced plans last week for an initial public offering, is still deciding whether to list on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market, setting off a horse race for the high-profile deal. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, chairman and co-founder of Twitter Inc., center, speaks as New York City Mayor Michael ‘Mike’ Bloomberg, right, and San Francisco Mayor Edward ‘Ed’ Lee listen during a press conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, June 14, 2013. Dorsey, Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Lee announced today that they will co-host the second annual Bloomberg Technology Summit to be held in New York on September 30. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, interim chief executive officer and co-founder of Twitter Inc., left, talks with Venture capitalist Aviv ‘Vivi’ Nevo while arriving for a morning session during the Allen Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Thursday, July 9, 2015. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen Co. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter Inc. and founder and chief executive officer of Square Inc., right, and Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, founder and chief executive officer of BUILD, stand for a photograph during the 2014 BUILD Gala in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Saturday, March 1, 2014. BUILD is an innovative, college preparatory program, whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to direct low-income high school students to college and careers. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., listens during an interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Electronic-payment company, Square Inc., run by Dorsey, is offering a range of new services, including loans and software that lets customers manage inventory and analyze sales. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Trump has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitter, with nearly 60 million followers. But the president and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly criticized the company and its social media competitors for what they have called bias against conservatives, something Twitter denies.

Democratic U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono said earlier this month “we cannot allow the Republican party to harass tech companies into weakening content moderation policies that already fail to remove hateful, dangerous and misleading content.”

Carlos Monje, Twitter’s public policy director, said at a Senate hearing earlier this month the site “does not use political viewpoints, perspectives or party affiliation to make any decisions, whether related to automatically ranking content on our service or how we develop or enforce our rules.”

In October, Trump wrote that “Twitter has removed many people from my account and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join – they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?”

Any reduction is likely the result of Twitter’s recent moves to remove millions of suspicious accounts after it and other social media services were used in misinformation campaigns attempting to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other elections, Reuters reported in October.

(Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Tom Brown)

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