America’s most controversial President, Donald Trump has accused Google of rigging the search results for “Trump News” and showing negative ones more predominantly. In a Twitter post, he makes this claim around 5:30 in the morning, which he later on deleted. However, at 11 AM today, he posted on Twitter, reiterating the same complaints only making certain grammatical corrections (Changing ‘New Media’ to “News Media”, for instance). In all likelihood, Trump is repeating a claim that first appeared two days ago on PJ Media, a conservative news site, which published a piece with the headline, “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.”
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media,” he wrote 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. Illegal?” “96 percent of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous,” he continued. “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!”
It is ironical that Trump’s accusations come just a few days after the secret meet of the US tech giants to safeguard media for the midterm elections. It is also interesting to note that a week later Twitter, Google, and Facebook are to testify before Congress to discuss censorship and election meddling.
The search results that appear on any Google page are decided by an algorithm that brings in a whole host of factors, many of which remain known only to Google itself. Search results are also determined by the user’s previous browsing history and by records of frequently used/opened websites. Google had, earlier, altered the ways its search engine functions in the wake of several complaints about hosting false news and suggestions that search results were showing misleading stories. Google News results are ranked on a variety of factors, and the results are personalized to a great extent.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
In reply to the President’s angry tirade, Google hasn’t opened its mouth yet.
Later in the day, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, informed Bloomberg that the White House is “looking into” whether Google is deliberately suppressing positive articles about the President.