Trump got the idea that Google search results are rigged against him from some fake news that was spread by Fox.
Trump inaccurately claimed:
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
Google was forced to reply to the president’s latest pile of conspiracy gibberish, “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. 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.”
Council of Economic Advisers Chief Larry Kudlow said that the no regulation Trump administration is looking at regulating Google:
Q: “Does the president believe or does the administration feel that there needs to be some form of regulation for Google?”@larry_kudlow: “We’ll let you know. We’re taking a look at it.” pic.twitter.com/H2yF4adlQR
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 28, 2018
Trump Wants To Regulate Google Based On Fake News
Trump got his inaccurate information from a far right wing site known for such extreme bias that they publish false information. PJ Media reported an unscientific Google search as a fact that “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump‘ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.”
The story then made its way to Lou Dobbs:
Dobbs also reported the fake news as fact, “Google blatantly suppressing conservative media outlets from American searching for Trump and the site to show interesting places. 96% of the results are national left-wing media in the first 100 results, and it appears most frequently. 21 times following by “The Washington Post” and NBC. That is tough going.”
Trump saw the Dobbs story, tweeted, and now wants Google regulated.
This is why it is dangerous to have a president who gets his information from TV
Dobbs never said that the PJ Media article was based on one person conducted the same search multiple times and that the effort was totally unscientific. Algorithms don’t measure political bias. They are apolitical. The reason why right-wing websites don’t come up as often in these searches has more to do with the lack of fact in much of their writing. Google looks for quality, not partisanship. If more outlets on the right focused on facts, and less on following Trump down the conspiracy rabbit hole, they might rank higher.
Public policy shouldn’t be made based on inaccurate reports that the president sees on his favorite cable news channels, but that is what is happening in the Trump White House. This behavior is unfathomably bad governance that will have disastrous policy consequences.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association