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President Trump Accuses Google Of Rigging Results

     
12:04 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In a series of Tweets, the President of the USA has accused Google of manipulating the Search Engine results against him:

"Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!

Is this possible?

Disclaimer: i am 100% apposed to this President on all levels.
12:56 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ha. Depending on how the media reports this, it will either disappear quickly or will become a huge headache for Google. I can't see Google changing any results just for Trump...

I guess Trump will just have to by ads for "trump news" now to get the results he wants in the SERPS.

I am calling the next Google Algo update the "Trump Update" ;-)
1:04 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is this possible?


Is it likely?
1:12 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If Trump says it, then you know it isn't true.

Maybe he's trying to lay the groundwork for an attempt to take control of all the sources of information for the U.S. public, so that all anyone sees are his lies and mis-information. Look up the history of state-controlled media.
1:18 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'll repeat a comment I made previously in another thread..
This attempt by DT to tell Google and other influential sites what to show, and how, and in what proportions, could be seen coming along time ago..I wonder what temperatures Google and other search engines , new sites and social media sites burn at ? Fahrenheit 911 maybe..
1:20 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What is next ..threaten to seize the .coms , .nets and .orgs that have content that is / are not to his liking.. ?
2:17 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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a titbit: when Obama was POTUS and you searched Obama, the White House website came up first. When you search Trump his twit feed comes up first. Its testament to the fact that citations and anchor text links worked.

In this case Trump is complaining about, the news stories appearing at the top of the SERPs are more than likely being linked to and cited more than Fox news conspiracies and other right wing media ...
2:31 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Some might say that he should hire an SEO ( any takers amongst those who are members here ? ), paid for entirely and directly from his own money of course..and declared as "SEO services to boost personal position in SERPs"..in his next tax returns..
2:45 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just did an incognito google search for "Trump news", and a Fox News story was the top left result, with CNN next to it. Then there's some clutter with twitter and video results, but below that the first main result is again from Fox News.
4:06 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google serps rely of AI which only knows about what people are talking about. If fake Trump news is popular, no question Google will list it first. Popularity, not quality, not accuracy and sometime not even what you asked for. Trump should be taking issue with AI deciding what is or isn't news. That's the story here.
4:55 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If fake Trump news is popular, no question Google will list it first.

News about Trump is "buzz" , presumably he needs people talking about him, so he keeps talking , and generating the "buzz"( "popular" means something else ) whether what they are saying is "fake" or not has nothing at all to do with AI..

AI is not deciding what is said, that more people post things that say that they do not like him , or disagree with him, than the people who post that they like him and agree with him, then obviously SERPs will show that..

If he wants to have SERPs reflect what he thinks about himself, then he has to get more people who like him and who agree with him to post..

Some things are much easier to do than others..

Perhaps if he tweeted and spoke less, the pro Trump posts would outweigh the anti-Trump posts..
5:01 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google simply puts to much weight on what it deems authority sites, so sites like CNN will come up for everything. I personally find their results pretty pitiful these days, between the same sites always coming up to them trying to second guess my search i.e if I didn't want x term in my search results I wouldn't have included it! So please stop with the "must contain x" link and remove those results from my search! /kind of off topic rant
5:12 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Personal opinions aside, if he, or any layperson, fully understood how SERPs work, there would not be an issue. Of course, in the broader picture, he has been complaining that the media, news and social, has been blocking conservative views. But if those views were not (generally) so radical, e.g. "Time to put your battle rifles by your bed," they would not disappear. Regardless, this person is never going to be satisfied with anything that does not revolve around him, as he has clearly demonstrated.

In the end, I am taking this with a grain of salt. To me, it is just another attempt to influence the news cycle to distract from other issues, something we should all be use to by now.
5:14 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It seems like he responds more to the negative attention, anything that resembles an injustice that can be righted, then the media jump on that.

Of course, I'm relying on the media to tell me this, so... I may need to RTFM when it comes to verifying truth and correcting bias.

Give it 10-15 years, everyone can have a camera and mic attached to their noggin, we can figure it out by consensus.
5:47 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Give it 10-15 years, everyone can have a camera and mic attached to their noggin, we can figure it out by consensus.

Or..with a little more time the "human indication system" ( The Battle Of Forever - AE van Vogt ) amongst other things, it would eradicate narcissists entirely..
6:14 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"human indication system" ( The Battle Of Forever - AE van Vogt )


Something I have not read.

Dan Dennett has an interesting video Daniel Dennett: "From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds" | Talks at Google [youtube.com]

which basically talks about the responsibility that should be beared when creating algos using AI, someone needs to know the inputs and outputs. I admit to not following Google news too closely, and I'm not sure if Google has a meat bot that claims accountability for how news is ranked, or whether it's in the lap of the AI gods. No excuse for the latter, according to Mr Dennett.

The whole 'camera and microphone' approach would perhaps skip all this skepticism, purveyors of 'truth' can become masters of grep.
6:25 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Give it 10-15 years, everyone can have a camera and mic attached to their noggin


Surely no need to wait, aren't they back again?

[en.wikipedia.org...]
10:09 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The bias is apparent ... both sides should be concerned as one day the cross hairs might move left. :)

Thgse who claim they see nothing amiss are probably well-tracked by g, yt, and t, thus see what they expect to see.

The rest of us who do not allow tracking of any kind see something a bit different ... though "stacked" towards one over the other.

A reminder to all, that the majority of threads here at WW are about g and loss of love for their sites and the algos doing something that tanked their income, etc. It makes sense there are other aspects of the "web" than also fall under that "what the heck is going on?" scenario.

I also suspect that when it was mentioned that the results were skewed that g turned it OFF to prevent millions of seeing it in action when they logged in to see for themselves. Once the new blip has passed the knob will be cranked up once again.

After all, it is just tweaking the algo and AI ...
10:15 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The bias is apparent


The bias is personal. Might DT be seeing the accumulation of his viewing habits?
10:21 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The bias is apparent

It certainly seems to be.

It is likely the US president was referring to a viral news story posted on Saturday by the website PJ Media, which concluded that the vast majority of Google News results for the president were from left-leaning outlets. The site used a classification that ranks almost every mainstream news outlet – other than Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and DailyMail.com – as leftwing.

Source: [theguardian.com...]

...
10:43 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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BBC
[bbc.com...]
Analysts say there is little to back up Mr Trump's claim and that it is unclear how he could take action.

Some said attempts to alter search engine results could violate the First Amendment, although his administration could make it difficult for Google by looking into its dominance of the market.

"What about the first amendment" was my "second thought" on reading about "this" on "le point" Tuesday morning..

My first thought would be against TOS to repeat..
11:35 am on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I believe there has already been case law (perhaps in a lower court) to the effect that the search results are protected by the First Amendment.
11:48 am on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I believe there has already been case law


[theguardian.com ]
1:00 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mods Note: Please be careful to avoid the political comments and personal feelings and focus just on the SEO.
1:21 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Trump's results would also be skewed by location and what he has been searching before. He doesn't understand how it all works.

Then again with the amount of ads, etc, I don't trust that Google anymore holds the interests of their users above their stock holders. This wouldn't really be an issue if Google didn't have such a monopoly over search but they do so if some light is shined on the issue from time to time maybe it will keep Google in check a bit more.
3:47 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Other cases where U.S. courts have ruled that search results are protected by the First Amendment:

Search King, Inc. v Google Technology, Inc. (2003)
[internetlibrary.com...]

Zhang et al. v. Baidu.com, Inc (2014)
[searchengineland.com...]
5:50 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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President Trump's broader (not the specific 'news' he speaks to) concern/complaint is, increasingly felt by many search users and it has a very simple explanation: personalisation.

Eli Pariser was the first I heard speak to the increasing 'filter bubble' in a 2011? Ted talk. It both explained things I'd been seeing and acted as a caution in my quest to build in site search.

Most people are quite happy in their bubbles because they usually are self reinforcing. Occasionally a general reaction to events means that an opposing force/view replaces some to all the 'usual' and discombobulates the searcher. Often we take take our world views as a matter of faith and opposition therefore as blasphemy.

Indeed the Google threads here at WebmasterWorld illustrate this quite well.
8:06 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Personalization is indeed a self-reinforcing loop. The more one uses a specific site, the more likely one will see such site. And this reinforcement is carried through to datasets of individuals.

The truth is...the "people" rigged their own results, both as individuals or as a group, so that they will only be exposed to things / ideas that they are most likely to accept.

With that said...if all Trump is seeing are news against him...it probably suggests that he clicks on those results quite often on Google :). Or maybe he has a team in WH just checking news all day long for potentially negatives. That probably skewed Google's rating / characterization of WH preferences.

Totally plausible.
8:42 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Teflon.
8:49 pm on Aug 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Here's the goofy part: Has anyone ever tried to find negative content about something that is usually viewed favorably? For example, negative reviews of a book that most critics loved. (Politics won't work as an analogy, because you just go to a site with the desired slant.) Unless there's some magic code word I have yet to discover, it's impossible. And I am not prepared to believe that the publisher, or producer, or studio, has paid off every search engine in the land.
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