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Google

How Google search on John McCain revealed the truth about Trump

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 5:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 5:02am

I refer to your leader, “Trump stance could be bad news for all” (September 4). You say that “Trump is blaming the messenger”, when he says Google search results are left-biased.

Well, none of us knows the algorithms that determine Google page ranks. That’s their commercial secret. So all we can go on is search results, on which I find Google guilty as charged.

Disclosure: I’m not and never was a Donald Trump supporter. But it seems to me the US president is absolutely right about the left bias in Google searches.

For example, here are the top results when I searched for news on John McCain’s funeral, in order: The New Yorker, The Guardian, Vox, The New York Times, BBC, Business Insider, Refinery29, Elle  and Time. Every single one of the major news sources cited is left of centre.

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Where is Fox News? Like it or hate it, Fox is the most-watched cable news channel in the US and its online site also has huge traffic. How could it not be above something like Refinery29? Fox was not below them. It was not even on the page all the others are.

Google’s code used to be “Don’t be evil”. Maybe it thinks Fox is evil. Wait until Google gets cosy with the Chinese censors, as they’re about to do (“Where can Facebook and Google go next, if not the Chinese market”, September 17).

For now, Google’s new motto is “Do the right thing”. How about they try that? Balanced search results would be a start.

Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay