Trump meets Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hours after complaining about follower count

The meeting came as the social media platform deactivated roughly 5,000 pro-Trump Twitter bots

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 24 April 2019 02:22 EDT

Donald Trump has met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the Oval Office just hours after launching an attack on the social media platform that helped propel him into the White House.

Mr Trump claimed earlier in the day — via Twitter — that the social media platform does not treat him well because he is a Republican, and implied that his follower count is artificially depressed by the company. He provided no evidence of this bias.

“Great meeting this afternoon at the [White House] with [Mr Dorsey] from [Twitter],” Mr Trump tweeted after the meting with the CEO, in a markedly more upbeat tone than his morning tweets. “Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!”

The meeting and Mr Trump’s morning rant came as news broke that Twitter had deactivated roughly 5,000 pro-Trump bots on the platform that pushed out disinformation last week alongside the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s influence in the 2016 election.

That report, which focused heavily on Mr Trump and his attempts to stop the investigation, was branded as “Russiagate Hoax” by those bots, and Twitter indicated that they violated the platform’s terms of service.

“We suspended a network of accounts and others associated with it for engaging in platform manipulation—a violation of the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson for the company told Ars Technica.

Prior to meeting with the president, Mr Dorsey sent letter to his employees explaining his reasons for meeting with Mr Trump.

“Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all,” Mr Dorsey wrote to staff, according to Wired. “I believe it’s important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas.”

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In Mr Trump’s morning rant against the company, he said of Twitter: They “don’t treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory, hard for people to sign on. Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people.”

He then accused Congress of allowing Twitter to operate without oversight because of the bias he said Twitter has against him.

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