Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump, using more anecdote than evidence, is doing unto Google, Facebook and Twitter what he helped do to mainstream media: persuade a big chunk of America they are biased — and fake.

What's new: "Fake social" and "fake search" are the new "fake news" in the mind of Trump’s inner circle.

  • A new poll by Media Research Center/McLaughlin & Associates, reported first by Axios' Alayna Treene, showed the attacks are working: 65% of self-described conservatives believe that social media companies purposely censor the right.
  • A Trump operative tells me: "It's risen to the level of being an emotional or gut issue with conservatives, like guns/immigration. It's an issue that's here to stay."
  • Be smart: Conservatives charged bias and lies in mainstream news and then created right-wing alternatives. It should come as no surprise if they do the same two-step process to the modern form of distributing that news. 

Donald Trump Jr., who has 3 million Twitter followers and 1.3 million Instagram followers, told me there is "exactly zero doubt in my mind" that tech bias is real: "I don't think [this issue] is going away, because I don't think it's changing."

  • The president's oldest son, reflecting Trumpworld's growing appetite for action against Big Tech, said the companies need to self-regulate better: "Many of these platforms get many benefits from the government."

Don Jr. tells Axios that if a Trump supporter in the tech world created a conservative, Facebook-like social network, he would urge Trump supporters to switch to it.

  • When I asked him if his father's 2020 campaign might build such a platform, Don Jr. said: "I'd love to do it. But what I would prefer is, take one of the two Silicon Valley conservatives and let them start it. And then I'd help promote the platform and be all over that."
  • Scary thought: Imagine tribal news delivered via tribal pipes. And, as one mischievous Trump adviser told us, imagine the president moving his Twitter show to that network.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the likely Speaker if the GOP keeps the House, has driven the tech-bias issue among conservatives for months, and pushed a #StopTheBias hashtag that the president tweeted yesterday.

  • McCarthy told me: "The companies cannot sit back and say nothing is happening. Algorithms are written by people. Everybody has some bias in them. Anyone claims they don't have bias, they're not human."
  • McCarthy — who has had many conversations with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and gives him credit for engaging on an issue many in the industry have dodged — said: "People are using the power of their own philosophy in a tool that was created to level the playing field ... the Internet itself."
  • On the idea of a conservative social platform, McCarthy said he'd rather fix the ones we have: "If we're only talking to people we agree with, that's not healthy for this country."

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell us this will be a major line of escalated attack at a congressional hearing next week with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Dorsey.

  • Axios managing editor Kim Hart told me: "Trump has essentially hijacked the upcoming hearings. Classic Trump tactic that will likely rain on [the senators' intended] parade on the disinformation front, and shift the focus to something that ... resonates more with his base."

The takeaway: Axios' Dan Primack said on his "Pro Rata" podcast: "What Trump’s doing here seems to be part of a larger trend of discrediting not just specific media outlets or specific stories, but the idea of media in general."

  • Primack said Trump is "basically telling his supporters: Don’t believe what you read. Don’t believe what’s in your Facebook feed or your Twitter feed or your Google search results. It’s all rigged."
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Technology

States court tech money even as they bash companies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Some of the country's fastest-growing states are publicly attacking the tech industry's business practices on one hand while courting its investment on the other.

Why it matters: Attracting technology companies is a holy grail for economic development because they bring high-paying jobs and prestige to aspiring tech hubs. But that project is now colliding with some state leaders' efforts to rein in tech companies' growing power.

Minnesota governor denounces alleged police violence against media

Law enforcement officers pepper spray freelance photographer Tim Evans (L) as he identifies himself a working journalist outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Friday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke out Sunday over allegations that journalists covering unrest in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center have endured police violence, telling CBS Minnesota: "Apologies are not enough, it just cannot happen."

Why it matters: Since violations of press freedoms came to national attention last year, with reports of journalists being arrested and assaulted while covering anti-racism protests, violent encounters with law enforcement seem to have become the norm.

7 hours ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, were among the buildings damaged.