Trump is said to be firing up conservatives with his claims of bias in big tech, and he's not about to back down

  • For US President Donald Trump and some of his allies, the idea that there’s a liberal bias in tech produces the same gut reaction as gun control and immigration.
  • The news website Axios reported Thursday that Trump was not about to back down in his war on Google and other firms, with one unnamed source calling it “an issue that’s here to stay.”
  • Silicon Valley seems resigned to the long fight. “There will be no fixing this,” a tech executive told The New York Times.

President Donald Trump and his allies are getting ready for a long fight with America’s tech giants.

That’s according to the news website Axios, which says it has spoken with several of Trump’s allies about his escalating attack on companies including Google and Twitter.

One source told the website that the idea these platforms contained liberal bias was getting conservatives as exercised as the gun-control debate and immigration issues.

“It’s risen to the level of being an emotional or gut issue with conservatives, like guns/immigration,” an unnamed Trump operative told Axios. “It’s an issue that’s here to stay.”

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., piled on with a similar sentiment, saying he didn’t think the issue was “going away” or “changing.” He added that he would support the creation of a conservative social network meant to rival Facebook.

Trump has roasted Google for two straight days, accusing the company of favouring liberal news articles in its search results and falsely suggesting it failed to promote his State of the Union address after doing so for President Barack Obama. The quotes from sources close to him suggest these attacks will only continue.

Larry PageGetty / Justin SullivanThe Google cofounder Larry Page has been called to give evidence to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Axios said Trump may also be using this line of attack to affect what is discussed in next week’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, during which Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey; Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg; and potentially the Google cofounder Larry Page are expected to give evidence on foreign influence operations.

Silicon Valley seems resigned to a long fight

And it appears that Silicon Valley is resigned to a rumbling war with the president.

Kara Swisher, the editor at large for the tech website Recode,said in a New York Times opinion piece that social-media platforms had become such a “toxic swamp” that it would be nearly impossible to clean them up – particularly when they’re in the crosshairs of competing liberal and conservative demands.

“For one set, we can’t take enough down; for another set, we can’t leave up enough,” an unnamed tech executive told her. “One side thinks social media enabled populism, while the other thinks the opposite. There will be no fixing this.”

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