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article imageGoogle defends its practices against Trump's charge of bias

By Tim Sandle     Aug 28, 2018 in Technology
Washington - The U.S. President is fond of attacking the media and using the phrase 'fake news'. This week he has turned his attentions to Google's Internet search engine. Google has refuted the charges.
President Donald Trump is keen to point out cases of fake news in the media. This is even to the extent that he has instituted the "Fake News Awards", although these only apply outwards rather than to any pieces of misinformation that the President himself may have uttered. With most new media outlets in receipt of criticism, Trump has recently turned his attention the world's most used Internet search engine: Google.
Multi-millionaire Trump expressed his concerns about Google via two tweets, which run: "Google search results for "Trump News" shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News 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!"
The tweet was sent at 5 a.m., Washington, D.C. time. Trump was apparently searching for his own approval ratings and took umbrage to the outcomes of his search results which did not infer that his popularity reached the heady-heights of his own conception of his popularity with the U.S. electorate. The tweets have since been deleted but Sky News replicates them.
Trump's charge is that 96 percent of Google results are from the so-called "National Left-Wing Media", adding this was "very dangerous".
While Google is protective over about the method that it uses to rank search results and news stories, the company has defended itself against the verbal attack. A Google spokesperson told CNBC: "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."
The Google spokesperson 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."
There's an irony with Trump using Twitter to accuse Google of bias. Engadget notes that the U.S. President made similar claims about Twitter in July 2018.
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