Trump intensifies attack on Google with new complaint about its home page

President protests that Obama's State Of The Union address was promoted but his wasn't

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 29 August 2018 22:05
Comments
Trump news: Is Google really rigging its algorithm to make the president look bad?

Donald Trump has intensified his attacks on Google, with a fresh complaint about its home page.

The president claimed that the site promoted the State of the Union address while Obama was president, by telling everyone who visited its home page to watch through YouTube. But as soon as Mr Trump became president those promotions stopped.

He suggested that the change proves his claim that the search giant is biased against him. He had previously complained the site was failing to show positive enough results when he searched for his name.

Mr Trump attempted to prove the claim with a video that showed the Google home page throughout the years that both he and Mr Obama were in charge.

The video does appear to be accurate: the links were there under Obama and disappeared when he became president.

Google has previously said that it does not inject any political bias into its search results and that the algorithm does not carry any particular ideology.

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 after Mr Trump first sent his original tweets. "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."

Google did actually promote Mr Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018, it said. It didn’t include his speech to Congress in 2017 on its home page, because the first speeches by incoming presidents are not usually treated in the same way – Obama’s first speech didn’t appear on Google’s page either.

The first comments from the president focused on what came up when searching for the words "Trump news". He claimed that the results were being intentionally filled with liberal news outlets, which he said was unfair and potentially illegal.

"Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media," he wrote in the first post. "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?"

In addition to Google's denial of the accusations, Mr Trump's claims about what shows up under a search for his name appears to be inaccurate. The words have repeatedly brought up links to Fox News ever since he posted the tweet, for instance.

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