Last month, Gizmodo published a report claiming that Facebook workers are routinely suppressing conservative news stories, and have been doing so for a while. As if that accusation wasn’t frightening enough, SourceFed posted a video on Thursday claiming that Google is also altering the news that we see to push its own agenda, which the video claims is to see Hillary Clinton win the election. Whether or not either of these accusations are true, the idea that two of our main sources of news these days are letting their political bias influence the news they provide us is unsettling to say the least.
Did Google manipulate search for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton? Is this a conspiracy?! Not likely. And no. We’re asking these questions because online viral video site SourceFed believes it’s stumbled onto the biggest search and political scandal of this election season. In a video posted Thursday, SourceFed’s Matt Lieberman reports that “Google has been actively altering search recommendations in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” The allegation comes from SourceFed’s video editor Spencer Reed (who does not appear in the video) and is based on disparities they found in Google’s autocomplete function. Autocomplete will start to guess at your search query as you type. It’s something Bing and Yahoo do, as well, but Reed and Lieberman contend Google does it differently and in such a way as to protect Clinton and her presidential aspirations. As evidence, the video shows how when you start typing in “Hillary Clinton cri” the site does not complete it as “Hillary Clinton Criminal Investigation.” Bing does autocomplete with “crimes” and “criminal investigation.” By contrast, a search of “Donald Trump ra” does fill in with “racist” on Google, as well as Bing.