Google Manipulating Searches of Conservative Sites, Leaving Liberal Sites Alone, Analysis Finds
Evidence continues to mount that the world's most powerful search engine is deliberately manipulating search results they deem objectionable by providing sketchy fact-check reviews of conservative websites while leaving liberal sites untouched.
The Daily Caller reported earlier this week that Google is now displaying fact checks for conservative websites in its search results. When an Internet user looks up certain news sites that skew to the right, Google offers additional information about the site on a sidebar, such as what themes the site often write about, and a "Reviewed Claims" section.
These reviewed claims are instances where the publication has made a claim thought to be dubious and is linked to Snopes or another fact-checker report on the matter.
And some of the claims for which Google is providing reviews give the impression that the site in question habitually engages in spreading unsubstantiated rumors as factual.
One of Google's reviewed claims that they labeled as "unproven" for The Federalist was that the conservative outlet had written that a woman named Eileen Wellstone claimed former president Bill Clinton raped her while he was a student at Oxford in the 1960s. But among the thousands of articles the Federalist published in the past few years, only one mentions Wellstone and it was in the context of describing Clinton's long history of sexual misconduct.
The Federalist simply reported that Wellstone made such a claim and did not elaborate any further. Yet Google purported the Federalist as having asserted that Clinton was expelled from Oxford for this alleged rape and provides a link for the user to a Snopes fact-check piece that contends that this was not proven.
"So the question is, does Google tag every article that relays accusations of sexual misconduct or rape as 'unproven,' or just the ones against Bill Clinton? Or is the mention of Wellstone specifically worthy of a claim?" asked David Harsanyi, writing in the Federalist Wednesday.
Harsanyi explained that the Wellstone matter has been cited in many kinds of publications, including The Washington Post, and not just in attempts to debunk her claim.
"It's one thing for us to read publications through filters. We do it all the time. But it's another for a search engine to manipulate perceptions about those sites — and only conservative ones — before people even read them."
LifeNews noted Wednesday that of the top 20 conservative sites, as reported by PJ media, 30 percent were tagged with fact checkers like Snopes, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and ClimateFeedback.org.
None of the top 20 liberal sites, as reported by TopTere.com, were targeted in this way.
A Google Chrome search of The Washington Post does not reveal erroneous claims the paper made like the time it reported that Russian hackers targeted a power grid in Vermont — a claim Snopes has fact checked — but does show the publication's many Pulitzer prizes in a sidebar.
The tagging of right-of-center websites seems to dovetail with the reportedly hostile work environment for right-of-center employees at Google headquarters.
As The Christian Post reported this week, former Google engineer James Damore, who was fired from the company last year over a leaked memo, filed a lawsuit this week contending that the technology giant discriminates against conservative white men.
Damore's suit claims that Google "furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics" and the only topic missing from the forums is "traditional heterosexual monogamy."
One Google employee who sexually identifies as "a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin" and "an expansive ornate building" gave a talk called "Living as a Plural Being at an internal company event," one of the lawsuit's footnotes states.