Trump Lashes Out at ‘Rigged’ Google for ‘Controlling’ Its Search Results

Kelley Robertson
August 29, 2018

In a tweet written at 5.24am on Tuesday morning (10.24am United Kingdom time), the U.S. president claimed search results for "Trump news" only showed reports from "Fake New [sic] Media", with his arch nemesis CNN featuring heavily. "What Google and others are doing-if you look at what's going on at Twitter, if you look at what's going on at Facebook-they better be careful because you can't do that to people. Fake CNN is prominent", he wrote.

"96% of results on "Trump News" are from National Left-Wing Media, very risky", he continued, drawing on biased numbers to anchor his argument.

Shares of Google, Facebook and Twitter traded lower on Tuesday after President Trump accused the tech leaders of bias against conservative voices, warning they are "treading on very, very troubled territory". They are controlling what we can & cannot see. Hours after his dawn tweet, his top economic adviser said the White House is "taking a look" at whether Google searches should be subject to regulation.

At a rally in West Virginia earlier in the week, Trump even suggested that censorship was worse than his old foe, the "fake news media".

That's a smart move by people who clearly know exactly what they're talking about regarding search engine algorithms because they heard about it from an old guy on television. Mainstream media outlets attacked Trump's suggestion as a "conspiracy theory", but there is reason to think tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are biased against conservatives.

Mercedes Bunz, a senior lecturer in digital technology at King's College London, told BBC News it was highly unlikely that Google was deliberately ranking news according to political bias. "Google also had fired engineer James Damore for criticizing the company's 'Ideological Echo Chamber.' The company had claimed he had been fired for 'advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.' Damore is suing Google, saying it mistreats whites, males and conservatives". But in a blog post over the weekend, conservative activist Paula Boylard had said she found "blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets" in search results.

WEB WAR President Trump above took to Twitter yesterday to attack Google left over what he believes is unfair treatment
Credit Courtesy WEB WAR President Trump above took to Twitter yesterday to attack Google left over what he believes is unfair treatment

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president's tweet.

"He doesn't like the coverage he sees, particularly in the Google search results", Roberts said. Other conservative publications, including Breitbart, circulated the article.

In his latest furious outburst, Mr Trump claimed anyone searching "Trump News" on Google would be led to reports from the "Fake New Media".

In March, Google announced it would spend more than $A408 million over the next three years to improve its search results following the rise of "fake news".

After Trump's tweets, the Drudge report claimed credit for bringing the issue to his attention, tweeting, "THE DRUDGE LINK THAT STARTED IT ALL".

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