President Trump in a new interview Thursday said that Facebook, Google and Amazon may be in a “very antitrust situation,” but declined to elaborate on whether the companies should be broken up.
“I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said in an with Bloomberg News. “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”
He charged the firms with exhibiting a bias against conservatives.
Trump has accused the tech giants of being anti-conservative and for allegedly stifling conservative speech.
He tweeted on Tuesday that Google News was biased against conservatives and said, “This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
He later said that Google, as well as Facebook and Twitter, were “treading on very, very troubled territory.”
Trump walked back his threats of regulation though on Wednesday.
“Not regulation. We want fairness,” Trump said.
Trump’s accusations follower a larger trend among conservatives of bashing tech companies for obvious bias against conservatives. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has aggressively pushed this charge.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Sept. 5 about the issue.
On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google’s search and advertising practices over antitrust concerns.
Meanwhile, Facebook may be facing War Crimes charges from the United Nations.
The United Nations has warned Facebook that it risks being dragged into international war crimes trials for its role in future human rights violations, as it called on the social network to address hate speech more quickly.
Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the UN’s human rights chief, said the company risked becoming an accessory to horrific crimes and that the company had not taken violence in Burma incited on the social network seriously.
It comes after a UN report into atrocities in Burma this week said Facebook had been “a useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate”.
On Monday, the company banned dozens of accounts, including the military chief’s own page, in the country, where 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled rape and mass murder, Facebook has been accused of allowing false information and hate speech on its platform to spread across Burma, whipping up violence.
Speaking in Geneva, Mr Al-Hussein said Facebook risked being subpoenaed in future trials “of those accused of the worst crimes” if it did not learn its lesson from the violence.
“We felt early on very uncomfortable with what we were seeing in Myanmar, (but) in the early meetings that we had with Facebook, I didn’t think they were taking it seriously,” Mr Al-Hussein said. “Hopefully they’ve now awoken.”
He added that “their role would be brought into question” in other cases “where Facebook is the dominant medium in a country where you see a deterioration of human rights conditions”.
“They have to be sure that they know where they are and what side of the law they are on.”
Mr Al-Hussein suggested that Facebook should be regulated by international human rights law, instead of by national governments.
His comments came in response to Donald Trump warning Facebook and other internet companies to “be careful” after accusing them of a left-wing bias. The US president has said the companies of favouring anti-Trump news and promised that the situation “will be addressed”.
Facebook has denied bias, but it has come under further scrutiny after a group of its own employees have accused the company of a “political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views”.
More than 100 of its employees have joined an internal group aiming to promote political diversity at the company, whose workforce is often seen as having a liberal slant.
An internal post written by a senior Facebook engineer, reported by the New York Times, claims that anyone at the company “who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology” is attacked.
President Donald Trump recently accused Google of altering search results to prioritize negative coverage and left-leaning outlets and warned that the issue “will be addressed.”
Trump said in a tweet that the tech giant’s search engine had “rigged” news story results to show mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives.
Not only do they rig it, but #Google will blacklist websites they do not like, so they NEVER show up in search results. They did it to me last September! I published too much truth, so they lynched my website!
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 28, 2018
….results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.
“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Unfortunately for the person with Google, they have just been busted in an outright lie. We here at o4anews.com know this for certain, because Google blacklisted our original domain, www.overpassesforamerica.com.
Google’s parent company Alphabet is a key driver of the Nasdaq’s performance. The firm’s shares were under pressure following Trump’s comments, down around 0.5 percent, reports CNBC.
Later Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, told Bloomberg that the White House is “looking into” whether Google suppresses positive articles about the president.
Google has just been busted in an outright lie. They will outright blacklist domains they don't like. I KNOW, IT WAS DONE TO ME!
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 28, 2018
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 31st, 2018