After both Fox New’s Tucker Carlson and the Wall Street Journal reported on a specific email chain involving Google employees, some people who have claimed liberal bias by the company felt vindicated. The email chain shows employees discussing how to use search results to counter President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
According to Fox Business, the company initially claimed it was only junior level employees who were involved. However, that is not the case. The emails also included several senior level individuals.
Fox Business wrote, “Three of the people involved in the discussion include Meryl Stone, now head of consumer partnerships at Google, Clement Wolf, a global public policy manager, and Stacie Chan, a global product partnerships manager. Google later walked back the narrative that only junior-level employees entertained the idea to manipulate Google search functions to promote their own political biases, explaining further that no company executives were part of the conversation.”
In an email sent to employees following reports about the discussed search manipulation, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, made it clear that such a thing was not acceptable to implement, reported The New York Times.
“Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our Search results for a political end. This is absolutely false. We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda. The trust our users place in us is our greatest asset and we must always protect it.”
The revelations about the email chain came on the heels of a video release by Breitbart showing Google executive and employees discussing their disappointment in Trump beating former First Lady Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. To some, this also clearly shows left-leaning bias within the company.
President Trump has also previously accused the company of bias, pointing to search results for the “Trump News” as proof. He tweeted out his belief:
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
But the claims of liberal bias by the company are not new. Back in 2016, SEO software company Can I Rank did a comprehensive review of the platform, using input from people with political ideologies on the left and the right to help make the analysis as accurate as possible. What they found is stunning.
“Among our key findings were that top search results were almost 40% more likely to contain pages with a ‘Left’ or ‘Far Left’ slant than they were pages from the right. Moreover, 16% of political keywords contained no right-leaning pages at all within the first page of results.”
“Our analysis of the algorithmic metrics underpinning those rankings suggests that factors within the Google algorithm itself may make it easier for sites with a left-leaning or centrist viewpoint to rank higher in Google search results compared to sites with a politically conservative viewpoint.”
Because of the perceived bias of the company and privacy concerns, a number of users have found alternative products to use for things such as searches and email. However, Google remains a dominating force in the tech world.
Back in 2016 the BBC labeled the giant as “the world’s most valuable company,” citing it’s massive reach. The BBC noted that “most of us use it day in, day out: to check out the snowfall before you book a last minute ski-ing holiday; to email the boss you won’t be in; to translate your child’s French homework.”
As long as so much of what we do and rely upon is provided by the company, which has an international span, it will take more than some users changing some product usage to make any difference with the company.
Some believe that will involve government intervention. Others see that as “a trap” and a means for the left to take further control and assert even more censorship.
For now, Google continues to deny bias and insists the revealed email chain was simple “spit-balling” that is not worthy of any penalty against the involved employees.
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