2018-08-28 19:48:39 UTC
President Donald Trump has renewed his claims of bias against conservatives on
the internet, accusing Google of rigging its results to show "bad" stories when
users search for "Trump news."
"Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake
News Media," the president said Tuesday on Twitter.
"In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all
stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair
Media is shut out," he added. "Google & others are suppressing voices of
Trump suggested that Google's actions could be "illegal" and he said that the
situation would be addressed. He did not specify what actions he would take, or
say what laws may have been violated.
Donald J. Trump
Google search results for Trump News shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake
News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost
all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair
Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of....
8:02 AM - Aug 28, 2018
Google (GOOGL) said its goal with search was to make sure users receive the most
"Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results
toward any political ideology," a Google spokesperson said. "We continually work
to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House on
Tuesday that the administration is "taking a look" at Google search results.
"We're just gonna do some investigations, some analysis, that's what we do," he
Pressed on the fact that the theory of censorship had been discredited, Kudlow
demurred: "This is above my pay grade."
In addition to routine attacks on broadcasters and newspapers, Trump and some of
his supporters have railed against social media and technology companies,
claiming that they suppress conservative and pro-Trump information.
Google uses automated programs called "spiders" to search the internet and index
pages based on keywords. While search results can vary between users, observers
were quick to point out Tuesday that the top result for many "Trump news"
searches was an article from Fox News.
According to Google, it uses algorithms to evaluate hundreds of factors
including user experience and how many other prominent sites link to a page. It
then ranks results by order of usefulness.
It also seeks to identify websites that manipulate its algorithms, and pushes
their results down the rankings.
Trump appeared to be referencing a story published in recent days by
conservative outlet PJ Media, which claimed that Google was "deprioritizing"
content from conservative websites. The story was picked up by other
conservative outlets including Breitbart.
Lou Dobbs, a Fox Business Network host and close friend of the president's,
highlighted the report on his program on Wednesday.
Google does not reveal the algorithms that power its search engine, or all the
factors that go into why one news outlet would rank higher than another in
search results. The secretive nature of the algorithms has exposed the company
to accusation of bias.
But the articles that were the basis for Trump's claim of rigging ignored the
fact that Google's most fundamental interest is returning search results that
users find helpful, because that's how it gets them to come back. It does that,
in part, by prioritizing results from trusted news outlets with large audiences.
Trump's paranoia and massive inferiority complex are really kicking to today!