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Trump hosts right-wing social media summit at White House

Right-wing media personalities will be at the White House on Thursday for a social media summit hosted by President Donald Trump to tackle perceived anti-conservative bias on online platforms.

The attendee list is being kept secret by the White House, but a range of right-wing activists, both online and offline, have announced they will be attending.

These include Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe, who has attempted to plant fake stories in the Washington Post to undermine its credibility, and radio host Bill Mitchell who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The president has previously accused Google of rigging its search results against him, giving greater prominence to negative stories about him while suppressing positive articles from conservative news organisations.

Google denied the allegation, which was not substantiated by independent research.

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The media figures attending the White House summit on Thursday will be sharing stories of "how they have been affected by bias online" according to a press secretary.

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One of the individuals invited to the summit, Ben Garrison, had been accused of drawing an antisemitic cartoon portraying frequent Jewish liberal philanthropist George Soros as a puppetmaster.

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According to the White House, the cartoonist's invitation has since been withdrawn.

Information on other attendees is not being released by the White House, and the event is being closed to the media.

Deputy press secretary Judd Deere said: "Earlier this year the White House launched a tool to allow Americans, regardless of their political views, to share how they have been affected by bias online.

"After receiving thousands of responses, the president wants to engage directly with these digital leaders in a discussion on the power of social media."

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Last August, nearly 350 news organisations came together to warn Donald Trump against his "fake news" rhetoric, with a co-ordinated series of editorials.

The publisher of The New York Times, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, said in July of that year that he had warned Donald Trump his attacks on the media were "putting lives at risk".

Those warnings followed the deaths of five journalists who were killed in a shooting at The Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland in June.

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