Trump accuses Google of hiding 'fair media' coverage of him

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday, without providing evidence, that Google’s search engine was hiding “fair media” coverage of him and said he would address the situation, without giving any details.

In a pair of tweets, Trump said Google search results for “Trump News” showed only the reporting of what he terms “fake news media.”

“They have it RIGGED, for me & others,” he said, blaming Google, part of Alphabet Inc., for what he said was dangerous action that promoted mainstream media outlets such as CNN and suppressed conservative political voices.

Trump claimed without evidence that 96 per cent of the “Trump News” search results are from “National Left-Wing Media.”

“This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” Trump added, without offering any details.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google disputes complaint

Google disputed Trump’s claim, saying the company does not favour search results for political purposes.

“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,” Google said in a statement. “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.”

Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent, suggested on Twitter that Trump’s complaint about 96 per cent of search results coming from “left-wing” outlets originates from an article from the conservative politics and lifestyle website PJ Media.

Trump has long criticized news media coverage of him, frequently using the term fake news to describe critical reports. He has made social media, particularly Twitter, an integral part of his presidency. He has previously accused social media companies, which include Twitter and Facebook, of censorship.

Trump’s accusation of bias on the part of Google comes as social media companies have suspended accounts, banned certain users and removed content as they face pressure from the U.S. Congress to police foreign propaganda and fake accounts aimed at disrupting American politics, including operations tied to Iran and Russia.

Companies such as Facebook and Twitter have also been pressed to remove conspiracy-driven content and hate speech.

Tech companies have said they do not remove content for political reasons.

Some Republican U.S. lawmakers have also raised concerns about social media companies removing content from some conservatives, and have called Twitter’s chief executive to testify before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Sept. 5.

Earlier this month, YouTube joined Apple Inc and Facebook in removing some content from Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones was also temporarily suspended on Twitter.

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