Google denies censoring search results for Conservative Party

Search engine giant accused of removing negative Tory search results in return for a favourable tax deal

Kayleigh Lewis
Wednesday 03 February 2016 18:27 GMT
"Tories are" doesn't have any search suggestions on Google, however it receives plenty on Bing
"Tories are" doesn't have any search suggestions on Google, however it receives plenty on Bing

Google has denied manipulating its search results in favour of the Conservative Party following its £130 million tax agreement.

Searches for “Labour are” retrieve results such as “finished” and “a joke, while “Lib Dems are” brings up the suggestions “traitors” and "pointless”.

But the autocomplete function, which makes suggestions based on previous searches, draw a blank when it comes to results for the Conservatives.

Typing “Tories are” or “Conservatives are” into Google brought up no search suggestions, at the time of writing.

This appeared doubly mysterious since the same search in Bing retrieves search suggestions such as “scum”, “lower than vermin” and “evil”.

The omissions have prompted claims they were the result of an agreement in which the Government guaranteed Google a good tax deal.

As has been widely reported, Google recently received a tax bill of £130m, despite earning earned an estimated £7.2bn profit in the UK over the past decade.

According to the Guardian, Google responded to the allegations, saying the company “can categorically state that tax is not remotely connected to this, nor are their ‘conspiracy theories’ founded in any way".

“Autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms,” said the company.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, recently surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company.

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