While several tech giants have found themselves in President Trump’s crosshairs since he took office, he has just unleashed what looks to be his most sustained attack on Google to date — firing off a couple of tweets at ~5.30am Washington DC time to rail against what he claims is algorithmic bias in the results the search engine serves up if someone types in “Trump News”.
No, the president did not use the four-syllable word “algorithmic”. But presumably he hadn’t even inhaled his first Coke of the day yet.
In his rage tweets, Trump makes the specific allegation that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media”, without citing his source for the claimed datapoint. He then makes the further unsubstantiated claim that: “Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good.”
The Guardian suggests the 96% claim is a reference to an article posted at the weekend by the website PJ Media whose self-described “not-scientific” study of the top 100 Google News results for the search term “Trump” apparently suggested “a pattern of bias against right-leaning content”.
Trump ends the pair of tweets with a warning that the “situation will be addressed” — without specifying exactly what he plans to do. Which is pretty much trademark Trump Twitter policy-on-the-hoofing. Even as the wider political context around his administration, with whispers of impeachment in the air, implies that any loud public complaints by Trump about negative headlines related to himself are an attempt to distract attention from the legal hot waters now boiling around him. But whatevs.
Here are the tweets in all their rage-filled glory: