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By 29 August 2018 | Categories: news

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Google has not had an easy 2018, with the EU fining it $5 billion for anti-competitive behavior and Gmail privacy breach allegations earlier this year. But the latest salvo fired against the search engine giant though, has come from the president of the United States, with it being accused of slating its search results to favour a particular political viewpoint, and being biased against conservatives.

More particularly, Trump’s tweets asserted that search results for ‘Trump news’ only referenced what he calls fake news outlets, such as CNN. This, despite the fact that running a quick search for the term in Google quickly results in stories published by Fox News, a notoriously right-leaning organisation in the US.   

His tweet further asserted that social media companies, the likes of Facebook and Twitter are rigging their platforms so that the news and stories appearing are bad, while asserting that “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal."

Trump's tweets went further, asserting that “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!”

In response to the accusations, Google issued a succinct statement denying the assertion that search results are rigged in favour of one political party.

“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. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” the company stressed in a statement.

“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,” it continued.

The attack does raise a question though as to whether Google, Facebook and Twitter would be afforded the same protections of freedom of the press, which ensures that no government can actively control what the press – or in this case, an information distribution service – can and cannot display.    

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