On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that Google may be engaging in an “illegal” practice by how it ranks search results. Trump said:
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!
Those tweets were deleted and then replaced with identical tweets later on Tuesday.
On the topic of regulation, economic advisor Larry Kudlow told a reporter who asked about Trump’s tweets, “We’ll let you know. We’re taking a look at it. We’ll let you know.”
Trump’s basis for claiming that 96 percent of results for “Trump News” are from liberal sources comes from a PJMedia story. In the story, writer Paula Bolyard claimed searches on Google for “Trump” in the Google News tab show evidence of the site’s bias against Trump. Comparing the results to a map of political bias in news created by the host of “Full Measure” Sharyl Attkisson, Bolyard concluded, “left-leaning sites comprised 96 percent of the total results.”
Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs discussed the PJMedia story with conservative personalities Diamond and Silk, who have claimed, often on Facebook, that Facebook is suppressing them for their views. In their interview, Diamond and Silk called for the government to investigate Google, calling it “tyranny” and “political lynching.”
Google responded to Trump’s allegations by saying, “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. 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.”
Just last month, Trump defended Google as one of “our great companies.”