Trump accuses Twitter of illegal bias against Republicans in search results
WASHINGTON — President Trump took aim at Twitter on Twitter Thursday, accusing the social media company of a ‘‘discriminatory and illegal practice’’ that has resulted in limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results.
Republicans have been up in arms since Vice News reported Wednesday that, as a result of a technique known as ‘‘shadow banning,’’ Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and several conservative GOP congressman were no longer appearing in an auto-populated drop-down search box.
‘‘Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good,’’ Trump wrote to his 53 million Twitter followers. ‘‘We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.’’
Twitter said it does not ‘‘shadow ban.’’ The company said it was aware that some accounts were not automatically populating but that was due to a bug the company is working to fix. The social media site said in a statement it does not make judgments based on political views or substance of tweets.
Its stock fell 2.89 percent Thursday.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have been accused of having a bias against conservatives before. Diamond and Silk, the Trump-supporting video personalities, had their page removed by Facebook earlier this year, leading to outcries of censorship, including from several congressmen. During his congressional hearing in April, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said this was an ‘‘enforcement error’’ and the page would be reinstated.
Twitter shares fell 4 percent in afternoon trading.
The president’s tweet Thursday could create new political headaches for Twitter and its tech peers in Silicon Valley, which have faced months of accusations — from the highest echelons of the Republican Party — that they are biased against conservatives.
Even though Trump is arguably Twitter’s most prominent user, right-leaning users still contend that they are being unfairly targeted, censored, and suspended compared to their liberal counterparts.
The accusations have even made their way into some Republicans’ election-year pitches to voters: California GOP Representative Kevin McCarthy who is angling to become speaker of the House next year, has run ads on Facebook that fund-raise around allegations of anticonservative bias on social media.
Omarosa’s ‘tell-all’ book expected Aug. 14
Omarosa Manigault Newman, who left the White House last year after a fraught tenure, isn’t done spilling all the tea served at the White House.
Gallery Books announced Thursday that Omarosa is releasing a ‘‘stunning tell-all’’ titled ‘‘Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.’’ The book, billed as an ‘‘explosive, jaw-dropping account,’’ hits shelves Aug. 14.
Omarosa joins a shortlist of former Trumpers with stories to tell. Sean Spicer is on a national tour for his book, ‘‘The Briefing,’’ and Anthony Scaramucci’s ‘‘Trump, the Blue-Collar President’’ is scheduled for October. But unlike those titles, ‘‘Unhinged’’ is allegedly far from a glowing account of the Trump administration.
Omarosa’s loyalty to the Trump brand was fierce until her drama-filled White House departure in December. She spent nearly 15 years in Trump’s inner circle, making a name for herself as one of the original bad girls of reality TV on ‘‘The Apprentice’’ and later as a staffer with unfettered access to the president despite a nebulous job description.
Since her exit from the Trump orbit, Omarosa has dropped plenty of hints that a tell-all was in the works. Days after her firing (or resignation — the details are hazy), she told ‘‘Good Morning America’’ that she had ‘‘quite a story to tell.’’
During an appearance on ‘‘Celebrity Big Brother,’’ Omarosa said she was ‘‘haunted’’ by the president’s erratic tweets and would not vote for him again ‘‘in a million years.’’ According to a Gallery Books press release, Omarosa and the president are done: ‘‘That relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end.’’
There’s no word on how much Omarosa pocketed for ‘‘Unhinged,’’ but one individual close to her said she received a deal in the low seven figures. Gallery Books is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS, the network that airs the ‘‘Big Brother’’ franchise.