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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."
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Go deeper

Study: Social media giants failing to remove most antisemitic posts

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking virtually during a March House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees hearing on a laptop computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Five social media giants failed to remove 84% of antisemitic posts in May and June — and Facebook performed the worst despite announcing new rules to tackle the problem, a new report finds.

Driving the news: The Center for Countering Digital Hatred (CCDH) notes in its study that it reported 714 posts containing "anti-Jewish hatred" to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and TikTok — which were collectively viewed 7.3 million times. These "clearly violated" company policies, according to the CCDH.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard: "It gets better"

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics. Ina Fried/Axios

Laurel Hubbard, speaking to reporters after becoming the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics, on Tuesday expressed gratitude for the opportunity to compete as an athlete and convince transgender people to work through adversity.

What she's saying: "All I have ever really wanted as an athlete is just to be regarded as an athlete," Hubbard, said in response to a question from Axios. "I suppose the thing I have been so grateful here in Tokyo is just being given those opportunities to just go through life as any other athlete."

Amazon may have violated law in Alabama warehouse vote, NLRB says

The Amazon BHM1 fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, should hold a new election to determine whether to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the National Labor Relations Board said in a preliminary finding Monday.

Details: The e-commerce giant may have illegally interfered in a mail-in election tallied in April on whether workers at the plant should unionize, per a statement from an NLRB hearing officer assigned to the case. Amazon said it would appeal any ruling stipulating that a second vote should take place.