Trump hails social media, slams 'fake news'

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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump says social media allow messages to be sent directly to the people without going through the "fake news filter."

Mr. Trump says social media users are "challenging the media gatekeepers and corporate censors to bring the truth to the American people."

Mr. Trump spoke at a White House conference exploring bias against conservatives by the nation's biggest social media companies.

Tech companies are notably absent from the event.

A spokesman for a trade group representing Facebook, Google and dozens of other tech companies says, "Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect."

The conference gives Mr. Trump a chance to energize online bloggers and Twitter users who have rallied behind his presidency as he seeks re-election.