Employees and engineers from Google actually discussed whether they should hide or downgrade stories from conservative media organizations within the platform’s search function following POTUS Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, according to a report last week from The Daily Caller.
Citing communications the news site obtained and reviewed, The Daily Caller along with Breitbart News were specifically targeted for potential search result censorship.
As previously reported, POTUS Trump’s election victory was a shock to scores of Google’s employees, most of whom were certain that one of the most corrupt presidential contenders in history — Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — would win instead:
Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.
“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016 post reviewed by The Daily Caller.
He went on to label TheDC and Breitbart as mere “opinion blogs” despite the sites’ reputations and history for breaking top news stories while urging his fellow Google co-workers to cut down the visibility of stories from both websites.
“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.
“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises. Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side,” he added.
Labeling news from conservative and independent sites as not real or legitimate is a favorite tactic of the Left, which considers the ideologically similar “establishment” media the only credible sources of information despite their growing reputations for publishing fake news in the Trump era.
The power to change elections?
That said, not all Google employees were on board with Byer.
“Thinking that Breitbart, Drudge, etc. are not ‘legitimate news sources’ is contrary to the beliefs of a major portion of our user base is partially what got us into this mess. MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated / less deplorable / closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” Google engineer Uri Dekel, who identified as a Clinton supporter, wrote. (Related: POTUS Trump blasts ‘illegal’ social media BIAS and censorship, vows actions.)
“We’re working on providing users with context around stories so that they can know the bigger picture,” added David Besbris, vice president of engineering at Google. “We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone.”
Several independent media organizations have been tracking this kind of bias and censorship against conservative news and commentary sites for months. In fact, as NewsTarget reported in August, one objective of the social media behemoths was to do all they could to help steal the 2018 midterms.
As initially reported by Buzzfeed, the news site “admitted to meeting in secret with reps from Google, Microsoft, SnapChat, Facebook, [and] Twitter to discuss ways they can censor the American people and steal the midterm election for the Democrats,” Infowars reported.
The social media giants have figured out that their reach is so pervasive they actually have the power to change election results. As long ago as the 2012 election cycle, The New York Times reported that social media CEOs saw their platforms affect voter turnout in the 2010 midterms.
For his part, POTUS Donald Trump observed recently that he believes social media manipulation of elections has already taken place. “Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton’s side,” he said.
Read more about social media platform censorship of conservative and independent media at Censorship.news.