Before we begin, let me make sure we start off with some clarity. We at Techaeris do not cover political news nor do we endorse any candidate or party, because we do not feel any of our political opinions matter to our readers. Whether you are voting for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump or Donald Duck, it doesn’t matter to us. You are here for tech news and tech reviews and we are here to give the news and reviews to you. That being said, we do cover major tech companies like Google, Apple, Lenovo and more. So when a video is published that accuses Google of manipulating search results for Hillary Clinton, this is something worth looking into. Check out the full video below.
UPDATE (6/10/2016 10:30ET): Rhea Drysdale from Outspoken Media reached out to us to point out some flaws in SourceFed’s video. According to Drysdale the methods used by SourceFed could be used for just about anyone.
Think about that for a minute. Google Autocomplete is powered by user behavior, personalization, trends, and lots of other factors. By telling hundreds of thousands of people (and growing) to search for these queries, SourceFed has just sent Google data supporting a massive spike of interest in these terms.
You can read Drysdale’s complete rebuttal to SourceFed on her Medium post here. Let us know what you think of Outspoken Media’s counter to SourceFed’s accusations.
UPDATE (6/10/2016 12:00ET): Google has replied to our inquiry with an official statement from a Google spokesperson, please see that below.
“Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works. Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name. More generally, our autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms.”
SourceFed’s investigation sure points to some interesting things going on with Google search. Our article has less to do with Hillary Clinton and more to do with Google and this alleged manipulation of search. As the presenter eluded to, people rely on Google to give them data that is relevant and up to date. People use Google to search for information and when Google does not provide the information that supposed lesser search engines provide, then there is an issue.
We understand that politics and business go hand-in-hand and there are, without a doubt, connections to Hillary Clinton within Google. But to go as far as manipulating your product to remove negative information about a candidate from the hands of your customers seems shady and unethical. SourceFed seems to have done a thorough investigation and went through a load of testing, and the evidence seems damning.
What do you think of SourceFed’s video and allegations? Do you think Google is actively manipulating search results? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
*Hat tip to Jason Falter and Travis Owens for alerting us to this story.
Last Updated on January 23, 2017.