Editor’s Note: One of the major news stories this week involves Donald Trump’s public condemnation of tech and social media companies’ ongoing censorship of customer and user content. This was accompanied by the president’s introduction of the Twitter hash, #StoptheBias. In a statement that should foster a broad national conversation, a cursory query on the Google search engine itself reveals a general blackout of the president’s commentary in major media, with The Daily Beast the only major US-based mainstream outlet highlighted in “top coverage”–with a misleading headline suggesting that Trump’s remark suggests the creation of a forthcoming political strategy. CNN and MSNBC predictably highlighted Google’s denial of any bias against conservatives.
(August 29, 2018)
US President Donald Trump continued to blast away at Google on Wednesday, as he accused the tech company of showing favoritism to former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Trump posted a video to his Twitter page that alleges that Google promoted Obama’s State of the Union addresses multiple times on its homepage, but has not done the same when he has addressed Congress. He posted the video with a hashtag, “#StopTheBias.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
CNBC has confirmed that photos of the Google of pages that appear in the video are accurate. It’s not immediately clear if the video was created by the Trump administration, or if it was made by a third party and shared by the President.
The video was posted a day after Trump criticized Google multiple times on Tuesday, accusing the company of rigging search results to silence conservative media outlets and make his administration look bad.
During an afternoon meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump claimed that the search company was “really taking advantage of a lot of people.” He also warned Google, Twitter, and Facebook — the large tech firms often accused by conservative groups of political bias — to “be careful.”
“On January 30 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the http://google.com homepage,” Google said in a statement. “We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on http://google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.”
A screenshot posted to the “r/The_Donald” community on Redditseems to indicate that the Google homepage did indeed promote the State of the Union address in January 2018.
Trump’s attack on Google appears to have been coming for a long time. Conservative pundits have long accused Google, Facebook, and Twitter of showing preference to left-leaning news outlets and causes.
When it comes to Trump’s claims that Google has rigged search, experts say there is little proof. “Search is not used to set a political agenda,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday. “We don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”