Googling oneself can ruin anyone’s day, and President Donald Trump seems no exception.
Trump took to Twitter late in the morning to complain about Google search results for “Trump News,” claiming that all “are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous [sic]” and implicating Google has a hand in this alleged bias and even suggesting something of a vast news conspiracy.
“Google & others are suppressing voices of conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” Trump tweeted. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
While we all wait for a fuller address, Google — which does use machine learning to an extent in its redesigned News platform, a redesign that was rolled out in part to actually ensure that much of the search results for News are not personalized based on a user’s search history, in an effort to ensure news is surfaced from disparate outlets — was quick to push back against the president’s claim.
“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” a Google spokeswoman said, noting the goal of Search is to get users news that’s relevant to their search terms as quickly as possible.
“Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to our users’ queries,” the spokeswoman added. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Putting “Trump News” into Google now surfaces news items from all of the biggest outlets, including CNN, Fox News, and some popular sites like TechCrunch and range from coverage of his belated respect of the late Senator John McCain, to the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and to today’s tweet accusing Google of bias. Those stories, many of which debunk Trump’s uninformed claim, ironically sit atop the search results since they’re the most recent news items about the president — none of which would exist without his “Trump News” tweet.
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