Did Trump Call a Meeting With Twitter to Complain About Losing Followers?

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump had a closed door meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday. According to a statement from Twitter, the meeting was initiated by the president and intended to discuss “protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis.”

Motherboard reported that the meeting lasted for about 30 minutes — but unsurprisingly, it didn’t stay on track. According to the Washington Post, Trump spent a “significant portion” of that time asking Dorsey about why he was losing Twitter followers, and alleging that it was an attempt at censorship by Twitter.

Trump has been outspoken about his disdain for Twitter in the past — including in the hours before his scheduled meeting with Dorsey. He tweeted that the company doesn’t treat him well “as a Republican.”

“Very discriminatory, hard for people to sign on,” Trump continued. “Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people.”

According to the Post, Trump repeated this concern to Dorsey, accusing Twitter of deliberately removing his followers, and alleging that it also happened to some of his other conservative colleagues. This was recently disproved by a study that showed that conservative users of social media were not censored more than any other users.

People who attended the meeting told the Post that Dorsey tried to explain to Trump that many people lost followers when they tried to delete millions of fake spam accounts on the site, including Dorsey himself. The company has repeatedly denied that it is targeting conservative users on the platform. It is unclear if Trump understood the explanation, though after the meeting he posted a much more positive tweet than the ones he posted earlier (4:34 a.m.) in the day.

Dorsey has been criticized in the past for not doing more to limit the president’s tweets, especially when he has tweeted something racist or that could incite violence, like the video Trump posted of Representative Ilhan Omar in early April. But the company previously announced in a blog post that it did not intend to remove Trump or any other world leader from the platform.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the post from January 2018 read.

Did Trump Call a Meeting With Twitter Just to Complain?