- Key GOP players discussed the future of big tech and social media at the RNC donors’ summit, CNBC reported.
- Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told the publication he spoke to attendees about bias in social media.
- Republicans and social media sites are at loggerheads over blockings and content moderation.
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Attendees discussed a “strategy on social media and big tech,” Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and attendee at the retreat, told the publication.
CNBC reported that Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said he had taken part in conversations about “concern over bias and growing power of media and social media.”
The two groups have been at loggerheads over what Republicans see as the restriction of free speech and the social media platforms see as the removal of hate speech and misinformation from their sites.
After the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, social media giants rushed to crack down on Trump and his supporters, with Facebook and Twitter both suspending Trump’s accounts.
Twitter also purged 70,000 accounts associated with QAnon, blocked the accounts of Trump allies including Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, and suspended the accounts of both Mike Lindell and his company MyPillow after he used them to spread voter-fraud conspiracy theories.
But Republicans are fighting back against the social media crackdown. Both Trump and Lindell are planning on launching their own platforms, and major Republican donor Roy Bailey told CNBC that he is interested in investing in a site where conservatives wouldn’t have to “worry about censorship.”
The discussions happened during the Republican National Committee’s donor summit, which was held largely at a Four Seasons hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
The invite-only event lets Republican candidates mingle the party’s donors as they discuss the GOP’s strategy and direction.
The group headed to Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night for a speech from Trump, where he reportedly insulted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and asked people to call the COVID-19 vaccine “Trumpcine.”
Schlapp told the publication that some attendees at the Mar-a-Lago event said they were “being cancelled” by insurance companies and banks and thought they weren’t being denied services because banks thought their businesses were too conservative.
He told CNBC that most of the conversations at Mar-a-Lago were “informal” and that the plans were still developing.
At other points during the RNC retreat, Florida Senator Marco Rubio criticized big tech companies over how they treat their staff and seemed to encourage GOP leaders to attract more support from union workers in the 2022 midterm elections, people briefed on the matter told CNBC.
He wrote for USA Today that the tech giant had “waged a war against working-class values.”