Google categorically rejected President Donald J. Trump’s claim that the search engine giant is using its position to manipulate search results in a politically biased manner. In a fiery tweet Tuesday morning, August 28, Trump slammed Google, claiming that the search engine favored news sources from sites that publish negative views on him in its search results.
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” the President said in an initial tweet. “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…”
Trump continued his rant in a second tweet: “….results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation – will be addressed!”
Trump did not provide evidence to support his claims, and the president is likely referencing a recent news story published by conservative media outlet PJ Media bearing the headline, “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.” The claims made by Trump and PJ Media have since been refuted by Twitter users and reports on CNN, Gizmodo, and The Washington Post. These sites reported that one of the top search results for “Trump News” this morning comes from conservative Fox News, a fact that we can confirm in our own search for the same terms.
“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” Google said in statement. “Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Trump’s administration will investigate whether Google is showing bias in its search results. The president’s tweet prompted Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic adviser, to issue a statement saying that the administration is investigating Google. “We’re just gonna do some investigations, some analysis, that’s what we do,” he said. The White House has not issued an official statement on the president’s latest tweet-rage.
Google isn’t the first tech company to be in Trump’s crosshairs. Last month, Trump blasted Twitter for shadow banning conservatives. Like Google, Twitter denied Trump’s claim. Separately, lawmakers are also looking into social media and election interference, with the Senate Intelligence Committee set to hear testimony from Facebook, Twitter, and Google on September 5.