Trump accuses Google of rigging search results against him and says it ‘will be addressed’

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday took issue with Google Search, accusing Google without evidence of intentionally playing up negative news articles about him while suppressing conservative voices.
  • Trump previously mounted a similar attack against Twitter.
  • As Google Search represents a product from Alphabet, a publicly traded company, it’s unclear how the US government could compel its largely automated service to behave differently.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google without evidence of intentionally playing up negative news articles about him in its search results while hiding coverage that reflected conservative voices.

From Trump’s Twitter on Tuesday morning:

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New 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’s 96% figure appears to come from a PJMedia, a conservative opinion blog that published a post Saturday that used unscientific methods to estimate that 96% of Trump-related search results in Google’s News tab came from outlets categorized by PJMedia as liberal.

Prominent Republicans have long accused what they call the mainstream news media of liberal bias, and many of the most read and viewed US media platforms excluding Fox News and The Wall Street Journal consistently rank mildly liberal by independent media reviewers such as the Columbia Journalism Review.

Trump too has long dismissed negative coverage about him, accurate or not, as “fake” or biased. Before Tuesday’s attack against Google, Trump leveled similar accusations against Twitter, which he accused of “shadow banning” prominent conservatives; Twitter denied that claim.

As Google Search represents a product from Alphabet, a publicly traded company, it’s unclear how the US government could compel its largely automated service to behave differently.

A Google Spokesperson’s statement to Business Insider dismissed the idea that the search engine intended to impress a political agenda on its billion plus users.

“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,” read the statement.