Technology

Google refutes Trump's bias claim

The US president claimed the search engine promoted Barack Obama's speeches but not his own.

Google has refuted Donald Trump’s latest claim of bias after the US president shared a video suggesting the tech giant promoted Barack Obama’s State of the Union address but not his own.

The video purportedly shows screenshots of the search engine’s homepage, displaying a live link to watch Mr Obama’s speeches each year from 2012 to 2016, but not a link to Mr Trump’s from 2017 onwards.

Mr Trump, who has 54 million followers on Twitter, simply tweeted “#StoptheBias” alongside the video.

Google said it did promote Mr Trump’s first State of the Union address in 2018, while clarifying that it has never featured a new president’s first address to Congress.

“On January 30 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage,” a Google spokesman said.

“We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new president, which is technically not a State of the Union address.

“As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.”

Earlier this week, Mr Trump claimed results on Google’s search engine were “rigged” to only show bad news about him and other Republican voices.

Google denied these accusations, saying it never ranks search results to manipulate political sentiment.

A senior Trump adviser has warned that the White House is “taking a look” at whether the company should face federal regulation.

The spat is the latest between Mr Trump and big tech companies, which he has frequently accused of online censorship.

In July, he claimed Twitter was shadow banning prominent Republicans – a way of reducing a person’s online visibility to the public without blocking them – which Twitter denied.

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