‘It’s not right’: Trump accuses Google of hiding ‘fair’ news
Search engine faces tighter regulation after president claims it rigs results in favour of the ‘liberal left’
Donald Trump’s administration has said it is considering regulating Google more tightly after the US president claimed the search engine’s news section is rigged against him.
Trump tweeted that 96% of articles that appeared after searching “Trump news” on Google came from liberal media outlets, while conservative sites were shut out. He warned that this would be addressed.
Google dismissed the claims, saying there was no political agenda in its search.
The row followed a flurry of criticism from conservative voices in the US about their treatment on social media. Alex Jones, the right-wing provocateur, was kicked off Facebook and YouTube recently, while other Trump allies accused Twitter of “shadow banning” prominent Republicans.Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning: “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 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 appeared to be referencing a report that featured on Lou Dobbs Tonight, a TV show on Fox Business Network. The report originally came from research by an author for PJ Media, a conservative blog. The writer typed “Trump” into part of the Google search that filtered news stories and analysed the results.
Looking at the alleged political leanings of each media organisation behind the articles returned, the author said that 96% came from left-leaning companies.
Google has never disclosed how it ranks news results, but overhauled the system in May and confirmed it used artificial intelligence to filter content.
‘Not very scientific’
Barry Adams, an expert on search engine optimisation, questioned the accuracy of the original report. He said it was “not very scientific”and the research appeared to be a snapshot and not a comprehensive analysis.
Following Trump’s tweets, Larry Kudlow, the president’s senior economics adviser, confirmed: “We’re taking a look. We’ll let you know.”Critics questioned the timing of the president’s broadside, given that it came after negative coverage of his response to the death of John McCain, the former Republican senator.
Google later stated: “When users type queries into Google Search, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”
– © The Daily Telegraph