Conservative blogger and social media superstar Wayne Dupree is declining an invitation to the upcoming White House Social Media Summit, preferring instead to focus on immediate changes to prevent conservative censorship.
As many conservatives online gladly accepted the invitation to discuss their struggles with censorship on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google and other sites, Dupree said he had more important things to do.
“I thank the WH for the #SocialMediaSummit invite but I won’t be attending,” Dupree posted to Twitter Wednesday morning, along with a picture of his invitation.
“Yes, I’ve been suppressed & throttled for going on a year & a half. Nobody should be targeted ‘by the platform’ they use,” he wrote. “Seeing change happen ASAP is more important to me than going to WH #RealTalk”
Dupree is an award winning blogger and political pundit with a strong conservative following on Facebook and Twitter. He’s appeared on several conservative political shows, from Hannity to Fox & Friends, Glenn Beck specials and scores of syndicated shows.
Dupree, a U.S. Air Force veteran, also tours conservative conferences and produces a podcast, The Wayne Dupree Show, which is streamed by America’s Voice News.
Trump invited “digital leaders” to the White House Social Media Summit on Thursday to discuss “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” spokesman Judd Deere told Politico.
Conservative muckraker James O’Keefe, cartoonist Ben Garrison, Trump supporting artist Joy Villa and others posted their accepted invitations on Twitter, as did Trump’s favorite meme creator, Carpe Donktum.
Other known attendees include lawmakers Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Vox reports.
Like Trump, virtually all of the guests have loudly criticized the world’s largest social media platforms for censoring their voice through a variety of ways, from restricting posts followers see in their feeds to unfollowing and blocking or suspending accounts, among others.
The problems with conservative censorship follow efforts by social media companies to crack down on “hateful” material, though there’s virtually no transparency in the process. The situation has led to provocateurs like Alex Jones, Michael Savage and others banned from the public conversation with little to no explaination, a practice that’s seemingly becoming more common.
The meeting also comes after multiple congressional hearings, repeated complaints from the president himself, and the launch of a White House website in May to collect complaints about bias online. Facebook, Twitter, and Google were left off Thursday’s guest list.
“After receiving thousands of responses, the President wants to engage directly with these digital leaders in a discussion on the power of social media,” Deere said.
Academics like Alan Rosen Blatt, a social media expert who teaches at several Washington universities, told Mother Jones that the president’s efforts to hear directly from the people censored by Big Tech – instead of the so-called “experts” – is a recipe for disaster.
Blatt, director of digital research at the political strategy firm Lake Research Partners, thinks the conservatives invited to the White House are a bunch of dummies who don’t deserve to be heard – essentially the same argument liberals are using to snuff out their ideological foes online.
“When you put crucial policy decisions in the hands of amateurs this is what you get,” Rosenblatt complained. “This is the level of ignorance that comes from the extreme levels of amateurism. These are incompetent, no training, no expertise people who are making policy statements and judgements on behalf of the president without really knowing what they’re talking about.”