The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, recently alleged that Google is working with the Hillary Clinton campaign, and there is evidence to suggest he is telling the truth. Recent searches on Google, when compared with Bing and Yahoo, seem to suggest that the search engine is burying negative stories about Clinton, even while the Analytics tool shows that more people are searching for them.
Speaking via video conference from the Ecuadorian embassy in London as part of the event “New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream,” Assange declared that “Google is directly engaged with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” He also mentioned that Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, is now heading the Pentagon’s innovation branch.
“Google is heavily integrated with Washington power, at personal level and at business level,” Assange charged. “Google, which has increasing control over the distribution channels … is intensely allying itself with the US exceptionalism.”
Assange is not the first to claim this crony connection between Google and the Obama administration. Various telecom, cable, and broadcast companies have criticized the cozy relationship between the tech giant and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As Politico reported, “AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters and a coalition of cable firms and programmers accuse the FCC of boosting Google at the expense of their industries.”
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance also alleged that “FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has consistently promulgated rules and regulations that benefit Google more than other companies in the tech industry.” The organization mentioned net neutrality, municipal broadband, and set-top box regulations, and each time the FCC helped Google.
But what about the Hillary connection? Her campaign is getting off easy, judged by automatic search results as compared with Yahoo and Bing. As a SourceFed Facebook video explains, “SourceFed has discovered that Google has been actively altering search recommendations in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, so quietly that we were unable to see it for what it was until today.”
When we type “Hillary Clinton Cri” into Google, the site’s auto-complete function shows three potential searches: “Hillary Clinton Crime Reform,” “Hillary Clinton Crisis,” and “Hillary Clinton Crime Bill 1994.” However, when you type the same term, “Hillary Clinton Cri” into Google’s competitors Bing and Yahoo, you get very different, pointed results, focusing on whether or not Hillary Clinton has ever committed a crime.
There’s clearly something wrong here, right? Maybe people are just searching for different things on Google than on Yahoo or Bing. When we searched for “Hillary Clinton Crime Reform,” the top result from earlier,there weren’t even enough searches of the term to build a graph on the site. Which begs the question, why on earth is it the first potential result? For comparison, we added a second search term, “Hillary Clinton Crimes.”
Apparently, FAR more people are searching for “Hillary Clinton Crimes” than “Hillary Clinton Crime Reform.” Google just doesn’t want you to know or ask. But hey, maybe that’s a fluke, right?
So the same team tried “Hillary Clinton Ind,” and behold, there were many indictment-based searches on Bing and Yahoo, but on Google the top recommendations are for “Indiana,” “India,” “Independent Voters,” and “Indiana Campaign.” As the video explained, “People were searching for Hillary Clinton Indictment EIGHT more times than they were searching for Hillary Clinton India.” But far more people are searching for indictment-related content! Something fishy is definitely going on.
Next Page: What about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Google results?
Even worse, when you search “Bernie Sanders Soc” and “Donald Trump Rac,” you get from Google the same damning results from Yahoo or Bing — search suggestions based on Sanders being a socialist and Trump being a racist.
The SourceFed video ends with a damning allegation: “The intention is clear. Google is burying potential searches for terms that could have hurt Hillary Clinton in the primary elections over the past several months by manipulating recommendations on their site.” The video admits that Google’s tampering with results “is deeply unethical and wrong, but not illegal.” Hmm. Ever wonder why it’s not illegal?
This is the problem with crony capitalism — big business working closely with big government. The well-connected businesses get to set the rules, and in some cases those business also attempt to influence elections. Very often this does not happen in terms of the much-maligned campaign finance (big businesses often give to both Republicans and Democrats), but rather in more subtle ways.
Catch the video on the next page.