Google has hit back at Donald Trump’s claim that it manipulates its search engine results to make him look “bad”, with a spokesperson saying: “we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology”.
The online giant’s defence comes after the US President accused Google of “rigging” its search results.
In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Trump said that the “National Left Wing Media” made up 96% of the results on “Trump news”.
He accused Google of not including Republican, Conservative and “fair” media, which he claimed was illegal. He added: “This is a very serious situation – will be addressed.”
A Google spokesperson denied that the search function is used to set a political agenda. “When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” the statement said.
The spokesperson continued: “Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.
“Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries.
“We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Trump regularly criticises any negative news media coverage of him, frequently using the term fake news to describe critical reports.
Political commentators in the US have pointed out that Trump’s Twitter rant comes shortly after right-wing PJ Media published an article suggesting Google was manipulating its algorithm to prioritise left-leaning news outlets.
Trump has made social media, particularly Twitter, an integral part of his presidency.
On Friday he accused social media companies of silencing “millions of people” in an act of censorship, yet did not offer any evidence to support his claim.
Trump’s accusation of bias on the part of Google comes as social media companies have suspended accounts, banned certain users and removed content as they face pressure from the US Congress to police foreign propaganda and fake accounts aimed at disrupting American politics, including operations tied to Iran and Russia.
Companies such as Facebook and Twitter have also faced pressure to remove conspiracy driven content and hate speech.
Earlier this month Trump criticised social media outlets saying without providing proof that unidentified companies were “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.”
In October 2016, he tweeted: “Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton.”
But on July 19, he referred to Google as “one of our great companies”.
In the past he has criticised Facebook for “always” being anti-Trump.