Justice to convene meeting on whether social media companies are intentionally stifling free speech

Justice to convene meeting on whether social media companies are 'intentionally stifling' free speech
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has scheduled a meeting with state attorneys general in September to discuss a “growing concern” that tech companies may be “intentionally stifling” the free flow of ideas on their platforms.

In a statement issued right after executives from Facebook and Twitter finished testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Department of Justice also suggested that the platforms were running afoul of antitrust laws.

“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,” DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement issued near the end of a congressional hearing where top executives from Facebook and Twitter were testifying.

The announcement comes as President Trump and conservative House Republicans have repeatedly aired complaints about bias against conservatives on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media platforms.

And the announcement signals that the Justice Department is paying attention to the growing movement to challenge Facebook and Google's market power.

Last week, President Trump said the companies might have antitrust problems but declined to discuss whether they should be broken up.

Updated at 1:22 p.m.