Following Donald Trump’s election win, Google employees discussed gaming their own search results to bury conservative media outlets, newly uncovered communications have revealed.
The material, which was obtained by the Daily Caller, features Google engineer Scott Byer lamenting how, “This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it.”
He then urged Google to change its algorithm to bury conservative sites like the Daily Caller and Breitbart.
“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.
“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he added.
Byer asked that Google “reverse things in four years,” noting that “demographics will be on our side.”
However, Byer’s colleagues cautioned that manipulating search results could backfire because what was considered a trustworthy news source is completely subjective.
“Thinking that Breitbart, Drudge, etc. are not ‘legitimate news sources’ is contrary to the beliefs of a major portion of our user base is partially what got us to this mess. MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated / less deplorable / closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” Google engineer Uri Dekel wrote in a reply to Byer.
“Too many times, Breitbart is just echoing a demonstrably made up story,” Byer complained, to which Dekel responded, “That happens at MSNBC, too.”
Another engineer, Mike Brauwerman, said it would be better to fact check conservative news source instead of burying them.
“Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong,” writes the Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson. “Google’s fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.”
A Google spokeswoman responded to the story by claiming, “Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology.”
However, following President Trump’s travel ban, Google employees did discuss ways to “actively counter algorithmically biased results” for search results including “Islam,” “Iran,” “Mexico” and “Latino,” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported.
Despite there being no apparent official policy to bury conservative media, its impact has already been noted.
Direct searches for some Infowars headlines reveal that certain stories are completely blacklisted.
In addition, Google-owned YouTube broke its own search engine to favor mainstream media channels.
Even direct searches of exact headlines reveal a wall of CNN, CBS, NBC and other corporate media platforms which appear above the correct search result.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
When you directly search for a video, you don't get the right result, you get a wall of generic CNN, NBC & CBS.
They literally broke their own search engine to help corporate media dominate independent content creators. pic.twitter.com/gDZiXBYz2Z
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 29, 2018
Searches for ‘Alex Jones’ also bring up a wall of overwhelmingly negative mainstream media coverage.
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