Business Insider Edition

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Trump met behind closed doors to discuss social media ahead of the 2020 election

Paige Leskin , Business Insider US
 Apr 24, 2019, 10:14 AM
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 09:  Twitter CEO Jack
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (L) and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speak at a press event at CES 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino on January in Las Vegas (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday at the White House.
  • The meeting was held to discuss "the world of social media in general," Trump said in a Twitter post.
  • On the morning of Tuesday's meeting, Trump unleashed a series of tweets accusing Twitter of political bias and alleging the company removed some of his followers.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA

Twitter executives met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss the health of conversation on the platform ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump shared a picture on Twitter of the meeting that showed CEO Jack Dorsey and a number of other Twitter executives in the Oval Office.

During the meeting, Trump and Twitter execs discussed the social platform's "commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections," a Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider.

In an internal email circulated among Twitter employees that was leaked to Motherboard, Dorsey said he believed such conversation with Trump "bridges gaps and drives towards solutions."

"I have met with every world leader who has extended an invitation to me, and I believe the discussions have been productive, and the outcomes meaningful," Dorsey wrote in the email. "Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting [with] the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn't take this meeting at all. In the end, I believe it's important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas."

The Tuesday meeting with Twitter executives came hours after Trump took to his personal Twitter account to blast the social-media platform for what he called "very discriminatory" behaviour against him, which he said included lowering his follower count. He also said Twitter was playing "political games" and that he'd heard "big complaints from many people".

Trump has a history of leveling accusations of political bias at big tech companies, such as Facebook and Google. However, he's called out Twitter in particular. In November, Trump tweeted that the social-media platform was removing followers of his Twitter account.

But big names have seen their follower counts decrease in the past as Twitter clamps down on bots and inactive accounts. In July 2018, for example, Twitter removed inactive accounts that may have been taken over by bots, and Dorsey himself lost 200,000 followers.

Twitter is often criticized by both liberals and conservatives. Some critics say that the social-media company hasn't done enough to monitor Trump's presence on the platform. Some have criticised Twitter for letting Trump stay on the platform even after his actions and tweets have appeared to violate Twitter's rules.

However, Twitter has said that blocking a "world leader" such as Trump from the platform would "hide important information people should be able to see and debate."

During Tuesday's meeting, Trump and Twitter executives also discussed "efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis," the Twitter spokesperson said.

A new post on Twitter's blog details the platform's efforts to "help prevent drug misuse, curb illegal online drug sales, and promote public health information." This includes reviving an awareness campaign on Twitter in partnership with the US government to encourage people to bring their leftover prescription-drug bottles to designated drop-off locations to prevent drug misuse.

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