Amongst the many things Donald Trump blusters on about, he’s now having a go at Google. He’s saying that their search results are biased towards what he calls the ‘fake news’ from the democrats' side of US politics.
This is what Trump tweeted:
Now it’s not beyond the realms of possibility because Google has been found to rig their algorithms to favour their own products, but in this case I think it’s very unlikely. Favouring one’s own results is simply a matter of profit for Google and a one-off in my opinion. Google would do far more damage to itself if its algorithms were hooky in general. It could lose the trust of searchers.
In fact, Google has defended itself, saying:
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.
Given that Trump is always trying to manipulate the media in his favour, I think this is just another one of his ranting missives that’s trying to discredit any news that he feels shows him in a poor light.
Trump’s claim that Google is behaving illegally is also a bit suspect. If Google were fixing the results, I believe they’d be free to do so. It’s their own, privately-owned site after all. Of course Google Search would lose a lot of credibility (and customers) if that was the case, which is why I’m certain they’re not doing this. But I can’t see how it would be in any way illegal.