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- Hours after claiming Google had “rigged” search results to suppress conservative media outlets, US President Donald Trump attacked the company again, this time from the Oval Office.
- Trump claimed Google was “really taking advantage of a lot of people.”
- He also warned tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter – which have been accused of anti-conservative bias by some groups – to “be careful.”
US President Donald Trump continued on Tuesday to take aim at Google.
During an afternoon meeting in the Oval Office, Trump claimed that the search company was “really taking advantage of a lot of people,” according to the Associated Press and other outlets. He also warned Google, Twitter, and Facebook – the large tech firms often accused by conservative groups of political bias – to “be careful.”
He added that those companies were “treading on very, very troubled territory.”
Earlier in the day, Trump wrote on Twitter that Google had “rigged” search results to stifle conservative voices and leave the masses with a negative impression of his administration. Trump included no proof to back his claims.
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
Asked to respond to Trump’s latest broadside, a Google spokesman issued a written statement.
“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,” Google wrote. “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 is an easy target for Trump. Many conservatives have suspected Google of harboring bias against them for a long time. The company had very close ties to the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president whom Trump defeated in the 2016 US presidential election.
Earlier this months, several of the big tech firms, including Google and Facebook, booted Alex Jones, the popular far-right commentator, for violations of their terms of service. Conspiracists on the right have had a field day, alleging Jones was a victim of a plot by left-leaning tech execs.
But this is not the first time Trump has accused Google of gaming search results. During the presidential campaign, Trump claimed that Google was “suppressing” negative stories about Clinton, his opponent. The company responded by providing proof that his claims were inaccurate.