White House probes Google after President Trump accuses it of left-wing bias

“U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google’s search engine of promoting negative news articles and hiding ‘fair media’ coverage of him, vowing to address the situation without providing evidence or giving details of action he might take,” Ginger Gibson and Susan Heavey report for Reuters. “Trump’s attack against the Alphabet Inc unit follows a string of grievances against technology companies, including social media Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc, which he has accused of silencing conservative voices.. He frequently berates news outlets for what he perceives as unfair coverage.”

“Trump said in several tweets on Tuesday that Google search results for ‘Trump News’ were ‘rigged’ against him because they showed only coverage from outlets like CNN and not conservative publications, suggesting the practice was illegal,” Gibson and Heavey report. “‘I think Google is really taking advantage of our people,’ Trump said on Tuesday in the Oval Office. ‘Google, and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory, and they have to be careful. It’s not fair to large portions of the population.'”

“Some Republican U.S. lawmakers have also raised concerns about social media companies removing content from some conservatives, and have called Twitter’s chief executive to testify before a House of Representatives panel on Sept. 5,” Gibson and Heavey report. “Earlier this month, Alphabet’s YouTube joined Apple Inc and Facebook in removing some content from Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, only Google knows for sure how their algorithm works. As with news sources, use different search engines, too.

Do not solely trust Google News. Do not solely trust Apple News. Do not trust any single gatekeeper.

The best way to consume so-called “news” is to cast a wide net.

As always, readers of “news” need to consider the sources and interpret what they are being told accordingly. The more disparate sources you can find, the better. And we don’t mean different newspaper, network, website brands that are all owned by the same conglomerate. Determining the actual ownership of your “news” sources is an investment that requires a bit of time, but it is very enlightening. — MacDailyNews Take, June 17, 2015

SEE ALSO:
President Trump attacks ‘left-wing’ Google search results – August 28, 2018
The Boston Globe Editorial Board: Break up Google – June 16, 2018
Bernstein: Google to pay Apple $3 billion this year to remain the default search engine on iPhones and iPads – August 14, 2017
James Damore: Why I was fired by Google – August 12, 2017
European Union hits Google with record $2.73 billion fine for abusing internet search monopoly – June 27, 2017
Google’s Eric Schmidt wore staff badge at Hillary Clinton’s ‘victory’ party – November 16, 2016
WikiLeaks emails show extremely close relationship between Clinton campaign and Google’s Eric Schmidt – November 1, 2016
Eric Schmidt-backed startup stealthily working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House – October 9, 2015
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Google outfoxes U.S. FCC – April 17, 2012
Google Street View cars grabbed locations of cellphones, computers – July 26, 2011
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010
U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – December 21, 2010
Wired: Google, CIA Invest in ‘future’ of Web monitoring – July 29, 2010

39 Comments

  1. Smart words from MDN that’s for sure. Diversity is key to survival for life. Still these companies are private companies and are not bound to things like free speech. Let the market decide is how I understand it.

    1. Click-throughs are a big factor in Google algorithms, so obviously the alt-right are going to their usual “trusted” news sources instead of actually searching for news and clicking through to right-wing news sources, which would push their rank higher.

      1. Yup there are so many factors in those search algorithms. I read a short article today entitled “Trump complained about his Google results. Good thing he didn’t try that search from Europe.”

        The search engines are still in their infancy and when you are the product like so many point out the object is to sell, not to provide diverse information from all sides.

          1. Thanks for the link though I’m not quite sure you realize the uniqueness of my thought.

            Now if you had given me a link to something like Gödel, Escher, Bach instead of an article…

            1. An article that explains how algorithms have embedded algorithms that have embedded algorithms that decide how an algorithm will show information?

              Seems pretty pertinent to me.

            2. Oh yes, it is very pertinent. I have no qualms about that. Was the snide remark pertinent. I think a comment like “they are way more complicated than most people realize” or “they are incredibly complicated” would have been way more pertinent.

            3. you-“The search engines are still in their infancy”

              me-“They are way more complicated than you think.”

              you-“Was the snide remark pertinent”

            4. A baby is an incredibly complex life form, yet it is still in its infancy. That’s the point I am trying to make. Yes they are complicated but they are evolving.

              Same with computers, they can do an amazing amount of complex calculations very quickly but at the core of it, they are still dealing with binary code, 0’s and 1’s. Now there is the exploration of quantum computers.

              I’m agreeing with you, algorithms are incredibly complex, but they are still in their infancy. Do I have empirical evidence to suggest this? Well they are a lot more complicated than when Google started off and they have people working on improving them and I suspect that they and others involved with algorithms shall improve them.

              you-“The search engines are still in their infancy”

              me-“They are way more complicated than you think.”

              you-“Was the snide remark pertinent”

              you- No answer to the question, so I’ll ask it again. Was the snide comment pertinent? A regurgitation of what was said does not answer the question for me.

            5. The point is RW, many are under the illusion that what is put in a search engine is what they get out and I am saying no, it is beyond that (which I would consider its infancy) to the point it can be easily manipulated.

              Whether GOOGLE is doing this on a small scale or a large scale is what needs to be known. Of course people can use whatever engine they want but at the same time you should be able to know what those search criteria are used for.

            6. Thanks for taking the time to clarify that Tower Tone. My comment about infancy relates to where I can see the evolution of algorithms in the future. Things like Isaac Asimov’s idea of psychohistory, weather and climate predictions, along with search engines and many more areas where algorithms are used will certainly continue to evolve over time.

              Have a good one.

      1. Thanks for pointing that out Steve.

        So public as they are traded on the stock market? Sure that works for me though from what I gather Google stared off as a private company when they were incorporated.

        I was thinking more along the way that they are run, i.e. by a board as opposed to being run by the public. What would be the proper way to express that then, a public company as opposed to a public utility (like an electrical and gas company)?

      2. I’m really miffed because I went back to the topic of inforwars back on August 22 here at MDN and several people referred to Apple as a private company and mention private establishment, private parties.

        Apple is monitoring Alex Jones’ Infowars app for content violations as it becomes 3rd-most downloaded app this week

        At any rate I’m not talking about how the stock is traded, rather how the company is run, by a group of individuals on a board, not the public representatives of a government.

      3. “Private company” can be used in two different senses:

        A. A corporation, LLC, partnership, proprietorship or other organization that is owned in some way that does not allow members of the public to take a share, as opposed to an organization with shares traded on a public exchange. Alphabet is not “private” in this sense, while Dell is.

        B. An organization that is not owned by a government or some government-controlled entity. Both Alphabet and Dell are “private” in this sense.

        Sense (B) is the relevant one for purposes of First Amendment law. Since a private entity (in this sense) is not a government actor, it is not constitutionally bound to enforce freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, petition, and so forth. On the contrary, it is protected from government interference with its exercise of those freedoms.

        Sense (A) is not relevant in any way to First Amendment law. As the Citizens United and Hobby Lobby cases tell us, the form of organization of a non-governmental entity does not affect its status as a “corporate person” with First Amendment rights.

        1. Ah thanks for that TxUser, you certainly are a wealth of information. So technically I was correct in commenting that Google is a private company in the B sense you put forth. I certainly wasn’t talking about the stock aspect but how the company was run.

          Always a pleasure, have a great day.

        1. Trump, in his official capacity, is the government. The government cannot block people’s right to petition the government for redress of grievances, nor their right of free expression, etc.

          Twitter is not the government. It has the right to be free from government interference with its free expression, choice of association, right to publish, etc.

          The First Amendment is hardly fascist.

          1. Before you accuse me of lying, please point out where my comment was “fallacious.” I believe it was entirely correct.

            If Mr. Trump is not the Chief Executive of the United States Government, why is he living in that big white house? If he is the chief executive, how can he constitutionally refuse to allow citizens to communicate with him?

            If Twitter is the government (or a government actor in any sense), why is it listed on the stock exchange? If it is not the government, why does it not have the same constitutional rights as any other corporate or natural person in America?

      1. It’s busyness. And for that matter it’s, in terms of left and right, right winged.
        Remember:
        Left = equality for all the people.
        Right = capital is ruled by the rich.

    2. “Diversity is key to survival for life. Still these companies are private companies and are not bound to things like free speech. “
      Your second sentence totally negates the first, gee what a surprise. Only a liberal wants to have it both ways.

      The rest of your posts on this topic are suck up PC drivel dogma and clueless to the censorship practices of Google and others.

      I thought the Left was against such things, not you, and your buddies are all for it. Guess when it’s in your favor, you’re all for it and fall in line. Would love to see the tables reversed and you spineless partisans would scream bloody murder.

      Oh, is that a “snide” remark? …

  2. well it be nice if other ads companies were involved in the website ads business instead of google being to dominant. Great to hear President Trump is taking on Google and needling them. They had a big fine in Europe and now they are against the White house. Fools deserve it, Google is too abusive

    1. Well said.

      Google has been abusive all over the world for far too long on many levels. They need to be brought before Congress and answer their egregious serial censoring of conservative voices.

      They claim they don’t rig political algorithms against conservatives. OK fine, show the proof.

      Reminds me of the tobacco companies in the 1990s when they testified before Congress saying they don’t add addictive chemicals to their products.

      Newt Gingrich in charge at the time and to his credit famously told them, “you guys lied to us”

      We shall see …

  3. Trump complains about any news outlet that doesn’t kiss his ass, or discusses what he actually does… “No collusion, no collusion, no collusion..” despite Mueller having gotten indictments and convictions, the investigation still ongoing…Despite Putin clearly having something on him, whether business related or otherwise…

      1. Towertone, Yep. Love my 2000 mile wall 100 ft tall and paid for by Mexico. and my worlds best medical care that is basically free. All due to TRAITOR trump. Once he finishes selling the USA to Russia, we will all be happy.

        KING trump has lied about…. well pretty much everything he has said for the last 10 years. Trump is never right. except by accident.

      1. The only thing that lasts forever is human stupidity, something that the gods themselves contend in vain (according to Schiller). If not Trump, there is a line of men waiting to take his place. We must colonise another planet, a far country to escape these frothing madmen.

  4. Google have now methodically dismantled Trumps accusations and raised questions about whether Trump’s video was faked.

    https://www.businessinsider.in/google-totally-dismantled-donald-trumps-latest-salvo-on-the-search-engine/articleshow/65606876.cms

    Google have supported their claims with verifiable references to archives on the Wayback Machine and also postings on Reddit.

    They raised questions about the video used by Trump as his video purporting to be from 2016 features a Google logo that was ditched in 2015 ( look at the second “g” it’s massively different because the font was changed. The old font had serifs and the new font used rounded characters, so every letter looks quite different ). Furthermore Trump’s video was claimed to be referring to Jan 12 2016, but Google points out that on that particular day, Google was featuring one of it’s Google Doodles. On that day it was about Cinderella, yet no Cinderella imagery is shown on Trump’s tweet.

    More readily disproven lies from Trump?

Add Your Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.