The race to the U.S. presidential election is heating up as both parties now have presumptive nominees. The campaigns are working hard to rally the people to their respective causes, they’re looking for support wherever they can get it. It was alleged recently that Google has been rigging suggestions in its search engine in favor of Hillary Clinton. The internet search giant has denied those allegations. “Google autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause,” said a spokesperson for Google.
The allegations were made by SourceFed through a YouTube video which claimed that Google had buried negative autocomplete results for Hillary Clinton. It pointed out that Google autocomplete doesn’t suggest “Hillary Clinton crimes” when “Hillary Clinton cri” is type in, however, that’s what both Yahoo and Bing autocomplete suggest.
SourceFed found the same result when typing in “Hillary Clinton ind” for “Hillary Clinton indictment,” Google didn’t show this suggestion but Yahoo and Bing did. However, it merits mentioning here that Google does filter “offensive or disparaging” search predictions for all people, and “crime” happens to be a word that it constantly filters. Vox reports that notorious gangster Al Capone gets similar treatment so this can’t be seen as a tilt towards the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, gave his take on the matter even though he’s currently on leave. Calling SourceFed’s claims “simply false,” he explains that one should also consider how people are searching for negative news about Clinton on Google. It appears that those who search for negative news don’t type her last name, so searching for “Hillary ind” does bring up “Hillary indictment” as the first suggestion.
Now that Google has responded to these allegations, SourceFed says it’s now working on an update to its original video.
1/ @SourceFed claims "Google has been actively altering search recommendations in favor of Hillary Clinton's campaign." That's simply false.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 10, 2016