“What we’ve discovered about Google’s potential actions is shocking and deeply disturbing …”
“For all that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Apparently Google hasn’t read this well-known Scripture from Luke 8:17.
The multibillion-dollar corporation appears to be actively altering search recommendations in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to a report by SourceFed.
When people utilize Google’s search engine, they expect that the results and suggestions they are getting are based off the patterns and statistics of searches from other Google users. But SourceFed found that isn’t the case when it comes to certain terms associated with Clinton.
ccording to the study conducted by SourceFed editor Spencer Reed, when you type “Hillary Clinton cri” into Google, the site’s auto-complete function lists three suggested searches: “Hillary Clinton crime reform,” “Hillary Clinton crisis” and “Hillary Clinton crime bill 1994.”
However, when the same search combination is typed into the sites of Google’s competitors, Bing and Yahoo, the results are starkly different, including “Hillary Clinton criminal charges,” “Hillary Clinton crimes” and “Hillary Clinton criminal.”
After noticing the drastic difference between Google and other popular search engines, Reed and SourceFed techs began to look a little deeper. To do this, they utilized Google’s analytical feature that allows users to see graphs of the number times a search was entered as well as the pattern and trends with the frequency of the requested search along with a timeline of dates. Using this feature they typed in “Hillary Clinton crime reform” to see how many times this search had been entered to better understand why it was the first suggestion that Google presented.
Upon executing this search they discovered there were not even enough hits of that search combination for Google to be able to construct a graph — yet Google presented it as the top search suggestion, implying that it has been a very poplar search combination. For comparison they then typed in “Hillary Clinton crimes,” which was in the top search suggestions for other sites like Bing and Yahoo. Upon entering this in Google’s search analyzer, a graph was displayed showing that considerably more people were searching for “Hillary Clinton” with the word “crimes” than with “crime reform,” but the search didn’t show up on Google.
SourceFed proceeded to experiment with another search combination with Google versus other search engine sites. This time the SourceFed techs wanted to see if the highly discussed possible indictment of Clinton by the FBI would pop up on Google as it did other search engines. The search combination that they used was “Hillary Clinton ind.” On both Bing and Yahoo, a plethora of “indictment”-related suggestions pop up. However, on Google, the top suggestions are: “Hillary Clinton Indiana,” “Hillary Clinton India” and “Hillary Clinton independent voters,” without one suggestion for “indictment.” Upon using Google’s search analyzer, SourceFed found that people were searching significantly more topics related to her potential indictment rather than Indiana or India.
Reed and the techs at SourceFed checked what happened when they searched terms with other political candidates, including Clinton’s Democratic challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and her likely Republican opponent, Donald Trump. When negative search combinations for these two candidates were entered, including Sanders with “socialist” and Trump with “racist,” Google matched the suggestions of Bing and Yahoo.
In SourceFed’s video report on the search issue, reporter Matt Lieberman states, “We at SourceFed are not accusing any individuals of any crimes. If this warping of search recommendations is as intentional as it appears to be, Google didn’t break any laws in doing so. It’s deeply unethical and wrong, but not illegal, and there is no proof that Hillary Clinton or any members of her campaign pushed for or knew about this practice.”
He adds, “What we’ve discovered about Google’s potential actions is shocking and deeply disturbing. … If it is proven that the intentional manipulation of search results and recommendations has occurred, then Google, and Eric Schmidt (executive chairman), are in the clearest of wrongs here. There is no proof of any kind that the Hillary campaign asked for or was aware of any wrongdoing, and for myself or anyone else to assume or allege so is irresponsible.”
SourceFed has been careful to let viewers and listeners know that they are merely reporting the facts, and urge their followers to make sure that they look everywhere when looking for information.
“That’s what we have. Search everywhere for information. Arm yourselves. Let’s start over and look at the facts. And then vote.” concluded Lieberman.
In a response to SourceFed’s report, a Google representative said in a statement to the Washington Times, “Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works. Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name. More generally, our autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms.”