Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Long before the start of the "techlash," LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman presciently predicted that “social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins." In today’s episode of his own Masters of Scale podcast, Reid talks more about that philosophy.

"Part of the theory was that what gives people fabric, and meaning, and joy, and presence in life is other people. And yet, the problem is that when we live only in physical reality ... A number of people had had the thought that the internet brings with it the possibility of configuring this electronic space."

Why it matters: While Reid’s approach has had indisputable success over the past decade, times have changed since 2011 and we better understand the psychological triggers that big tech employs to manipulate its users into taking certain actions. 

The art of hooking users — once celebrated across Silicon Valley — is now viewed by some with skepticism.

Our thought bubble: Research shows that negative impacts of social media over the past few years are beginning to wear on users’ trust, which could make it harder for social networks to continue to scale. 

Go deeper: Listen to the entire episode for more of Reid’s thoughts.

Go deeper

Election influence operations target journalists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Foreign and domestic actors looking to influence the 2020 election are trying to trick real reporters into amplifying fake storylines. This tactic differs from 2016, when bad actors used fake accounts and bots to amplify disinformation to the population directly.

Why it matters: The new strategy, reminiscent of spy operations during the Cold War, is much harder for big tech platforms to police and prevent.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,081,725 — Total deaths: 997,777 — Total recoveries: 22,926,896Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,115,338 — Total deaths: 204,758 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases

Democrats demand Trump release his tax returns after NYT report

Compilation images of House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats called on President Trump to disclose his tax returns following a New York Times report alleging he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in 10 of the past 15 years.

Details: Trump said the report was "total fake news," that he's unable to release the returns as they're "under audit" by the IRS, "which does not treat me well." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the report "provides further evidence of the clear need" for a House lawsuit to access the tax returns and "ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence."