Google hits back at Trump's bias claims
- Author: Rogelio Becker Aug 31, 2018,
Aug 31, 2018, 0:48
Trump's accusation of bias on the part of Google comes as social media companies have suspended accounts, banned certain users and removed content as they face pressure from the U.S. Congress to police foreign propaganda and fake accounts aimed at disrupting American politics, including operations tied to Iran and Russian Federation.
"I think what Google and what others are doing if you look at what's going on with Twitter if you look at what's going on with Facebook, they better be careful because you can't do that to people", he said in remarks at the White House. He wrote, "Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good". Some Republican U.S. lawmakers have also raised concerns about social media companies removing content from some conservatives, and have called Twitter's chief executive to testify before a House of Representatives panel on September 5. There's an irony with Trump using Twitter to accuse Google of bias. "Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology".
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!"
Trump also claimed without evidence that 96 percent of the "Trump News" search results are from "National Left-Wing Media".
The search engine said it issues hundreds of improvements to its algorithms each year to ensure searches always yield "high-quality content in response to users' queries".
The claims appeared to be based on a report from the Trump-friendly news site PJ Media which relied on an analysis chart by conservative news host Sharyl Attkisson that categorized major news outlets such as the New York Times, CBS and CNN as 'left wing'. A similar search later in the day for "Trump" had Fox News, the president's favored cable network, among the top results. They are controlling what we can and cannot see.
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".
Experts suggested that Trump's comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work. The answers that appear first are the ones Google's formulas, with some help from human content reviewers, deem to be the most authoritative, informative and relevant. He has previously accused social media companies, which include Twitter and Facebook, of censorship. Tech companies have said they do not remove content for political reasons.
Jones is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged. Jones was also temporarily suspended on Twitter.