A newly-released YouTube video makes a compelling case that, for unclear reasons, Google search results appear manipulated in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The video is the work of SourceFed, a channel with over 1.7 million subscribers that posts a variety of news, pop culture, and explanatory videos.
The video’s claims revolve around the potential searches Google recommends based on what a user has typed into the search bar, and how those recommendations differ from other search engines.
For instance, when a person types “Hillary Clinton crim” into the search bar, instead of suggesting a search like “Hillary Clinton crimes,” SourceFed found that Google proposed searches like “Hillary Clinton crime reform” and “Hillary Clinton crime bill 1994,” even though a look at Google’s own trends show that “Hillary Clinton crimes” is a far more popular search.
In contrast, when “Hillary Clinton crim” is typed into the search bars of Bing and Yahoo, it produces top suggestions such as “Hillary Clinton criminal” and “Hillary Clinton criminal investigation.”
Similarly, despite rampant speculation that Clinton may be indicted over her handling of Department of State emails, “Hillary Clinton indi” produces suggestions like “Hillary Clinton india” and “Hillary Clinton indiana” instead of “Hillary Clinton indictment,” even though the latter is a far more popular search term. Once again, Bing is completely different, and indictment-related searches dominate the suggestion box.
“It’s like if you put three people into a room that’s on fire, and two out of three people yell ‘Fire!’ and the third person yells ‘I’m in a room!,” SourceFed’s Matt Lieberman says in the video.
It’s not hard to find additional examples that further reflect SourceFed’s findings. For example, “Hillary Clinton dis” produces “Hillary Clinton discusses monica lewinsky” and “Hillary Clinton disclosure” as suggestions on Google, while Bing and Yahoo suggest “Hillary Clinton disbarred” and “Hillary Clinton dishonest.” On Bing and Yahoo, “Hillary Clinton mu” leads to murder-related suggestions, while on Google the top suggestion is “Hillary Clinton music video.” “Hillary Clinton Benghazi” produces suggestions of a “Benghazi cover-up” on Bing and Yahoo, while the term is nowhere to be seen on Google.
On the other hand, the three search engines are sometimes aligned. “Hillary Clinton li” produces “Hillary Clinton lies” and “Hillary Clinton liar” on all three engines.
Notably, the video comes just two days after Julian Assange of Wikileaks alleged that Google is collaborating with the Clinton campaign to put her in the White House.
When contacted, Google strongly disputed any suggestion they tampered with searches for political reasons.
“Autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms,” spokeswoman Kara Berman said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Our systems are periodically updated to improve Search, and our users’ search activity varies, so the terms that appear in Autocomplete may change over time. Additionally, our systems automatically filter a small set of offensive or inappropriate content from autocomplete predictions.”
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