The evidence that verifies allegations of Google’s search bias against conservative resources continues to accumulate.
Two researchers, Daniel Trielli and Nicholas Diakopoulos at the Computational Journalism Lab at Northwestern University, examined results from a large sample size they extracted from Google News in November 2017. They searched on 200 current news terms of the time (such as “Colin Kaepernick” and “tax reform”) and accumulated 6,302 links to articles shown in the search engine’s “Top Stories” box – the most desirable outcome for Web publishers, to gain traffic from curious readers.
The results: Only 20 news organizations’ sites were represented in more than half of “Top Stories,” according to Diakopoulos’s explanation in the Columbia Journalism Review, and 86 percent of article impressions in those results came from just the top 20 percent of sources.
Documents given to The Daily Caller show the Internet gatekeeper maintains a manually controlled blacklist against conservative websites that determines how and where their content appears in search results. The censorship is intended to filter out of top results content that runs afoul of Google’s “good neighbor” and “misrepresentation” policies.
“The deceptive_news domain blacklist is going to be used by many search features to filter problematic sites that violate the good neighbor and misrepresentation policies,” the leaked document says, later adding:
The latest earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demonstrates that the company is still a cash cow, but it does nothing to allay fears about the intrusive role “big data” plays in our lives. Nor does it provide respite from serious credibility problems facing the company’s leadership.
For instance, Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have lied to Congress. Pichai testified in December before the House Judiciary Committee, where members grilled him about transparency, data collection, and how Google filters search results. Moreover, several Republican congressmen wanted answers about political and ideological bias.
The plaintive Pichai was unequivocal. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result,” he claimed, because of the massive scale of trillions of searches each year. “It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results.”