What you need to know
- President Donald Trump has claimed that Google manipulated results of the 2016 election.
- Responding to the allegation, Google has said that Trump was referring to an old report that had already been debunked.
- Trump has been targeting Google since months, claiming it has an anti-conservative bias.
U.S. President Donald Trump has alleged that Google "manipulated" results of the 2016 election to favor of his rival Hillary Clinton. He wrote in a tweet that his victory "was even bigger than thought" and that Google "should be sued."
Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019
As noted by CNBC, Trump was likely referring to research by psychologist Robert Epstein, which was discussed on Fox Business on Monday morning. Epstein had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July that he had found a pro-Clinton bias in Google's search algorithm. This bias, Epstein had claimed, may have led to the shift of between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes in favor of Clinton.
Reacting to the allegation, a Google spokesperson said:
This researcher's inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment. Our goal is to always provide people with access to high quality, relevant information for their queries, without regard to political viewpoint.
Hillary Clinton responded to Trump's tweet by saying that the debunked study that he had referred to was based on 21 undecided voters.
The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted. https://t.co/0zHnWvGjSv— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 19, 2019
This isn't the first time that President Trump has accused Google of having an anti-conservative bias. Earlier this month, he had claimed Google was trying to "illegally subvert" the 2020 U.S. election and that he is watching the company "very closely".
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