WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning to meet with state officials to address conservative activists’ claims that social media companies are obscuring their content.
“The Attorney General has convened a meeting with a number of state attorneys general this month to discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms,” Justice Department spokesperson Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
The statement came directly after an Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign governments attempting to use social media to interfere with U.S. elections.
A subtext of the hearing, however, was complaints from those on the right who claim that social media giants are censoring their content, highlighted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones appearing at the hearing and drawing attention to himself outside.
Trump has repeatedly touted conservatives’ frustration, claiming that companies such as Twitter and Google could be breaking the law by allegedly limiting political viewpoints.
“I think it’s a very serious problem, because they’re really trying to silence a very large part of this country. And those people don’t want to be silenced,” Trump told reporters at the White House last week. “It’s not right. It’s not fair. It may not be legal. But we’ll see. We just want fairness.”
The president did not cite what laws may have been broken. He stopped shy of calling for increased regulations on tech.
The companies in the president’s sites have routinely denied trying to muzzle conservatives.