Donald Trump accuses Google of rigging search results against him

29 Aug 2018

US president Donald Trump speaking in Belgium. Image: Gints Ivuskans/Shutterstock

US president Donald Trump has warned Google and other tech firms they are ‘treading on troubled territory’.

US president Donald Trump yesterday (28 August) accused Google’s search engine of boosting negative content about his administration, while hiding “fair media coverage”.

His attack on Google comes in the wake of a series of issues he has raised with social media firms such as Facebook and Twitter, often accusing them of silencing Conservative voices. Amazon also came in for criticism from the US president, as he said the company is damaging small businesses in the country.

Trump tweets cause concern

Trump tweeted: “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?”

He added that Google’s alleged suppression of Conservative voices was “dangerous”.

According to Trump, 96pc of the results on ‘Trump News’ are from left-wing media sources. He added that the “very serious” situation is being addressed. According to Gizmodo, he may have gotten his statistics from a segment that aired on Fox Business. The segment, presented by Lou Dobbs, saw the host accuse Google of “banning Conservatives”.

The president’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told journalists that the White House was “taking a look” at Google, adding that some investigation and analysis would be taking place.

Google says search is not political

When asked for a response to the US president’s accusations, Google said: “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.”

It added: “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.”

US president Donald Trump speaking in Belgium. Image: Gints Ivuskans/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects