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Facebook and Twitter met with GOP leaders over tech’s liberal bias 

Both are trying to address complaints of censorship.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Since the 2016 election, Trump and right-wing lawmakers have claimed that the tech industry's liberal bias has led to suppressing and even censoring conservative speech online. That led to a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee back in April on the matter, which Facebook, Twitter and Google didn't attend despite invitations. But in efforts to quell suspicion, executives from the former two have reportedly met secretly with GOP leaders and conservative commentators in the last couple weeks.

According to The Washington Post, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey convened with right-wing leaders and media personnel on Capitol Hill and over dinner in Washington and NYC over the last couple months. One such meeting was with Republican leaders over dinner in Georgetown last week for an off-the-record discussion. Attendees reportedly included Trump communications advisor Mercedes Schlapp and Fox News commentator Guy Benson. Dorsey treated the dinner as an outreach opportunity, defending his social platform against claims it targeted conservative speech while conceding that the company can improve.

The right-wing response critiqued the CEO for tweeting himself on issues like immigration and gay rights and told him that the tech industry's diversity efforts, typically focused on expanding workforces beyond dominantly white and male professionals, should also focus on hiring those with more diverse political viewpoints, too. But they also took aim at Twitter's curation options -- for instance, claiming that the news trending feature Moments portrayed right-leaning people and issues negatively, if not excluding their voices entirely.

Facebook has followed up with right-leaning leaders and media to a more formal degree, sending company personnel to the RNC earlier in June to personally address concerns of liberal bias. The platform had previously announced a two-part internal audit in May to scrutinize both its civil rights record and potential anti-conservative slant in how it handles content or its own employees. On top of that, the company agreed to create a partnership with former Republican Senator Jon Kyl to bring Facebook executives in front of the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation.

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