After the 2016 elections, Google employees sought to prevent popular conservative news outlets from appearing in the engine’s search results, according to internal communications obtained by the Daily Caller.
The notion of blacklisting popular right-of-center outlets such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller was directly inspired by the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Speaking a mere day after the election on November 9th, Google engineer Scott Byer claimed that “this was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it.”
Byer would go on to describe the Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs,” stating that they were worthy of less consideration within Google’s search algorithms on account of their content.
Other Google employees would go on to push back against Byer in the internal communications, pointing out that other news outlets such as MSNBC propagated supposedly false information. A Google spokeswoman would go on to deny that the post-election conversation led to any suppression of conservative news outlets within Google’s products.
If Google were to nuke conservative outlets from its search results, it could have a powerful effect on the dissemination of alternative media, funneling seekers of information almost exclusively to legacy dinosaur mainstream media platforms.
Another tech monolith, Facebook, adopted new algorithmic changes in 2017 that dramatically reduced the reach and spread of nearly all online news sources. While mainstream platforms were hurt by the changes, it appears that conservative media especially was hamstrung by the changes with digital reach far impeded from the heights reached during the 2016 election.
Google was forced to apologize in May after the search engine described the ideology of the California Republican Party as ‘Nazism.’
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