The Wall Street Journal Friday released a report claiming that Google is actively censoring search results for conservative news websites. The story was later expounded upon by Daily Mail.
“Google’s engineers have also created blacklists to weed out more-incendiary suggestions in auto-complete, the feature that predicts search terms as the user types a query – particularly those relating to controversial subjects such as abortion or immigration,” Daily Mail reported. “The WSJ compared Duckduckgo and Google autocomplete results in Joe Biden, and found that ‘creepy’ was suggested every time by the former but never by Google.”
Duckduckgo is known as a more private alternative to Google that does not collect and sell search data like the Silicon Valley giant.
In a long statement, a Google spokeswoman fired back at the report, claiming that the company does not, in fact, censor conservatives. She said in part:
We have been very public and transparent around the topics covered in this article, such as our Search rater guidelines, our policies for special features in Search like Autocomplete and valid legal removals, our work to combat misinformation through Project Owl, and the fact that the changes we make to Search are aimed at benefiting users, not commercial relationships.
This article contains a number of old, incomplete anecdotes, many of which not only predated our current processes and policies but also give a very inaccurate impression of how we approach building and improving Search.
The insinuation in her statement is that any reference to Biden’s creepiness (he’s been to sniff the hair of children and adults alike) has been deemed by Google to be “misinformation,” and that Google’s auto-complete feature blocks such results.
But Google has long been accused of harboring an anti-conservative bias, and those suspicions were echoed by an employee who came forward to speak with Project Veritas and James O’Keefe in July.
Greg Coppola, a Senior Software Engineer at the company at the time, claimed that Google was manipulating search results – the same complaint levied by The Wall Street Journal today.
I mean, overall, I’m very concerned to see big tech and the big media merge, basically, with a political party – uh, with the Democrat party. I have a PhD. I have five years experience at Google, and I just know how algorithms are. They don’t write themselves. We write them to do what we want them to do. I look at search, and I look at Google news, and I see what it’s doing, and I see Google executives go to Congress and say that it’s not manipulated. It’s not political. And I’m just so sure that’s not true.
Another whistleblower from earlier in the year told Project Veritas that Google was “working to avoid another Trump situation in 2020.”
According to Friday’s report, not only is Google working actively against conservatives, but it is also working on behalf of other large, left-wing tech giants.
“The company also boosts some major websites, such as Amazon and Facebook in search results, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daily Mail said.