Donald Trump Happily Repeating Lie About Google Autocomplete Suppressing Negative Hillary News

from the lies-lies-lies dept

While politics isn’t generally a topic we dive into around here, technology policy and issues certainly are. And, since presidential election cycles infect every conceivable topic like a wine stain spreading across your favorite couch, we’ve talked about the two mainstream candidates quite a bit recently. And I get the complaints from all sides against both candidates, but it’s become somewhat breathtaking to watch Donald Trump build a campaign in large part on nonsensical and easily debunked conspiracy theories, such as how the planned internet governance transition will cede control of the web to China and Russia, or that our current sitting President might be a secret communist Muslim clay-person, but maybe not.

And, of course, there is the constant claim of victim-hood at the hands of that damned liberal establishment, which now apparently includes Google. Some background for you is in order. Over the summer, a really dumb video went viral after claiming to show that Google was manipulating autocomplete searches to keep any bad press out of the results for searches about Hillary Clinton. Compared with Bing, for instance, Google’s autocomplete failed to finish off a search for “Hillary Clinton cr” with “Hillary Clinton crimes”, instead completing as “Hillary Clinton Crimea.” While your drunk uncle lost his goddamned mind over a conspiracy surely proven, Google chimed in to note that it specifically designed its autocomplete feature to keep disparaging results from anyone’s name, not just Hill-Dog’s. This was easily shown by putting in “Donald Trump cr”, which likewise autocompleted as “Donald Trump Crimea.”

And that really should have been the end of that. But, because Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t one to pass on a good chem-trails story, its candidate tried to deflect a general panning of his debate performance by repeating this already disproved accusation.

While discussing polling numbers at a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Donald Trump offhandedly accused Google of manipulating search results in favor of rival Hillary Clinton, because hey, why not?

“The Google poll has us leading Hillary by two points nationwide,” said Trump. “And that’s despite the fact that Google’s search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton, how about that? How about that?”

I’m always reminded of a supposed quote from Michael Jordan back in the 90’s when a reporter asked him why he didn’t endorse political candidates, despite such an endorsement being so potentially powerful. His response was supposedly something along the lines of: “Because Republicans buy gym shoes, too.” Imagine for a moment if Google, in the business of making money essentially by getting as many people as possible to use its search engine, decided to alienate roughly half of the American population by trying to dick around with search results for a political candidate. It would literally have to hate money to take such an action. Anyone think that Google hates money?

And, separately, I know that politicians generally lie, and have for quite some time, but it used to be that a candidate for president wouldn’t simply be able to say something easily refuted and get away with it. I don’t mean refuted in a murky way that can be debated. This conspiracy theory that Trump is continuing to raise has been debunked. It isn’t a real thing. Yet he continues to repeat it. Some in the media may even call him out on the lie, but those that do will be accused of liberal bias and the whole thing will feed the playback loop.

This can’t be a good method for picking our national leaders.

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Comments on “Donald Trump Happily Repeating Lie About Google Autocomplete Suppressing Negative Hillary News”

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Unanimous Cow Herd says:

Re: I can safely vouch

I found that when I used other search engines, auto-suggestions for the 5 or 6 phrases I wanted to look up about HRC varied greatly in the nature of what they were trying to suggest. It was either intentional or other search engines have surpassed li’l g in the relevance and trending applicability. Even the g results were skewed to place stories that had little relevance to the search term in its currently trending nature while things more relevant to my search terms were at the bottom of the page, or worse, on another page. Some were downright weird. It was like stepping into the wayback machine and using Lycos or AltaVista or something. This was repeatable.

Freedy Cat Facts says:

Re: Re:

There’s something fishy going on all right. It’s downright Machiavellian. Google was suppressing “Hillary Crime”, but now “Hillary Clinton Cr” yields “hillary clinton criminal investigation google” as the FIRST suggestion. They’re slyly trying to point the finger back at themselves to take the heat off Hillary’s real crimes which I cannot enumerate here due to bandwidth limitations and the policies of my ISP. However, there is no doubt that a dark conspiracy exists, a conspiracy so insidious and nuanced, that it only targets people who can’t type an entire phrase.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

However, there is no doubt that a dark conspiracy exists, a conspiracy so insidious and nuanced, that it only targets people who can’t type an entire phrase.

What do you mean, “only”? This is the U.S.A. we are talking about. If you manage to win the autocompletion vote, you win the presidency.

I think it may be too late for now, but come next election I’ll be registering the Democracommunist and Republigreen party and let them propose a common candidate. If that does not get me the autovotes, I don’t know what will.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just remember...

this year’s election exemplifies the quote

“I would rather vote for the greater of two goods than the lessor of two evils.”

In my opinion, the next fours years are going to demonstrate one of two things. They will either show how much damage the president can do to the United States or will show how powerless the president is to damage the United States.

Hell, I’d rather vote for the mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota to become president than either Trump or Hillary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just remember...

I could much rather have ‘Crooked’ Hillary in the White house, in spite of her technological illiteracy, than the ravings of the lunatic and possible fraudster, Donald Trump.

And before people respond to this, I highly encourage you watch the following:

Last Week Tonight – Scandals
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Hillary Clinton’s Rough Weekend
Late Night with Seth Meyers – New Questions about The Trump Foundation: A Closer Look

Those contain literal statements of fact about the potential criminality of Donald Trump. Even if you absolutely despise Hillary Clinton, for the sake of America, you should vote for her. Because a vote for Trump is a vote for an actual racist fascist. And this is lauded as a noble goal.

America needs to be sent West, as it has forgotten the faces of its fathers, flaws and all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Just remember...

If you actively choose corruption, you have lost all right to complain about any other political person. Hillary is proven corrupt, Donald is just potentially so, there really is a huge difference.

Everything you have accused Trump of Hillary is guilty as well, but I keep forgetting. For many of you sheeple voters, your party gets a free pass. This is a huge problem for everyone voting for a political party. George Washington warned us what would happen if we clung to them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Just remember...


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Just remember...

You are mistaken if you think I am pro trump. I consider him to be corrupt as well, however, it is very clear that Hillary is extensively more so. Hillary’s corruption is so obvious that it cannot be given a pass.

Both Candidates are corrupt. But that will not be stopping those of you who put their Party before Country and Fellow Citizens, EVERY ELECTION!

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Just remember...

Hillary is somewhat corrupt – but no more than any Republican candidate in the last few election cycles. On honesty and competence she compares very favorably to ANYONE in this cycle’s Republican lineup.

If Hillary is so bad, then why can’t the Republicans find a better alternative?

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Just remember...

Limiting the criteria to “this year” – with his dropping out after the Feb 1st Iowa caucus – helps.

LAST year, Rand Paul got caught lying about his college record. He was forced to admit that he never graduated from Baylor University.

And he claimed that vaccines can cause “profound mental disorders.”

And he’s still a certified ophthalmologist in that he created his own “National Board of Ophthalmology” – with himself as the organization’s president, his wife as vice-president, and his father-in-law as secretary – and certified himself. You too can do the same.

Unanimous Cow Herd says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Just remember...

None of that is news. Remember, this is the guy whose platform includes, or rather emphasizes, that we was kinda of a crook who was bribing the politicians he was running against, including Hillary. When that guy says it’s a broken system, he’s right and means it. Is he the guy to fix it? Probably not. Are we all going to be paying $1000 /mo per individual under more of that Affordable Care for the Insurance Companies Act if HRC gets her greedy mits back into the White House? You better believe it. If for no other reason than that vote 3rd party before either of them.

TimothyAWiseman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just remember...

Have you considered Gary Johnson?

You are correct that Donald Trump is a horrible candidate. He has proven himself repeatedly to have misogynistic and racists tendencies, wracked with scandal.

Hillary is clearly superior to Trump. She has experience and is respectable. But her lack of in depth knowledge of technology and her tax-and-spend plans are unappealing.

Johnson on the other hand is an experienced and highly trustworthy candidate. He is not perfect and I personally disagree with certain parts of his platform. But I think he is by far the best candidate.

Allan R. Wallace (profile) says:

google news

I quit reading Google News several months ago over imbalanced reporting. Due to this article I just went back to check today’s news on the race for president.

4 articles negative on trump, 2 positive on Clinton. 1 almost balanced. Noted bias and prejudice about other matters also.

I’m independent and won’t vote for either; they won’t represent me or my family’s future.

I’ll check a few more times this week but nothing at Google News seems to have changed. Technocracy is at the mercy of the algorithm programmers — and their bosses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: google news

You’re not going to vote b/c Google doesn’t work the way you think it should? That’s a pretty cracked reason. And yippee, the people who are motivated to vote get to decide your family’s future! No wonder you, and people like you, piss and moan about how crappy the government is, but won’t do a thing about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 google news

I called nothing a conspiracy you dolt, it is nothing more than then classic mob mentality enraged by the Dunning-Kreuger effect. Many of you ‘think’ you know what is going on just double down on the stupid and parroting your chosen party.

As someone who hates both parties and wished all political parties be outlawed, you do not even realize how stupid all of you party sycophants look.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 google news

Assume for the sake of argument that that’s true, that they really do ‘unfairly’ focus on negative Trump stories, I wonder if that might have anything at all to to with his stance and actions towards them? Saying he wants to ‘open up’ libel laws, suing reporters and others who say mean things about them, to the point of bragging that even a loss still cost the other person money?

In their shoes I’d probably focus on highlighting his negatives too, because a Trump presidency is not likely to be kind to them.

I.T. Guy says:

Re: Re: Re: google news

“the evil MSM ” Troll harder DH.

No one said anything about evil or not. It is a fact that the MSM tries to sway public opinion. Rupert admitted it. You think he’s the only one?

“more negative Trump news because there’s more negative Trump news to report?”
Well that’s based on your opinion of negative. In searching Hillary Clinton Crimes and Donal Trump Crimes it becomes clear (to any rational human being) that the straws that the MSM is picking for the D are far less severe than the Hills. In addition Hills has been scrutinized for far longer than the D and yes, there is much more to display when looking at Hills past history. Now I’m not saying it’s not there with the D, it just hasn’t been scrutinized and published as thoroughly.

I personally think America loses no matter who is chosen in this election. They just may lose a little less under Hills.

Lastly, unless you live under a rock or have no powers of perception whatsoever, you SHOULD have noticed when the MSM shows pictures of the D it’s always a funny mouth open crazed looking picture while Hills is always smiling looking good. (Does the Death Star get CNN?) If so watch it for a day and see what I mean.

How many MSM “news” outlets have you seen that did any kind of worthwhile analysis of the Hills use of a private server?

The “coverage” is a joke.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: google news

Of course, you’re right, but do keep in mind that Trump supporters are inferior people, who are not only white supremacists and Nazis, but unfortunately equipped with inferior reasoning and analysis skills. Concepts like this are far beyond their pitifully inadequate intellectual abilities, so they’ll claim bias or conspiracy or liberal-this or liberal-that or anything that strikes them as plausible.

There’s a reason that Trump’s poll numbers are lowest among the most educated and highest among the dummies who weren’t good enough to make it through school. His campaign is very much designed to appeal to the stupid, and it’s working beautifully. Not that they’re capable of appreciating this of course — again, far too advanced a concept for them — but it’s obvious on inspection to those of us with superior minds. I almost — but not quite — pity Trump supporter: to go through life with such pathetic skills must be difficult.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 google news

Starting with just your first paragraph I was going to congratulate you on your sarcasm and effective mimicry of the bias found in the media.

With your second paragraph I lost my certainty that you were actually being sarcastic.

Since I can no longer tell, here’s a protip: Trump’s supporters are for the vast vast part NOT nazis, white supremacists, mysogynists, unintelligent, or evil poopie meanie-heads.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 google news

To be fair, Thad, Trump supporters, having been advised for decades that “government” and “the Establishment” and “the elites” are bad are so desperate for change they are willing to vote this jerk in to upset the status quo and reset the system. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf is my main source of information about this and he has provided a great Q&A session in which Trump supporters explain their choices.

While many of Trump’s supporters are undoubtedly fascists, etc., that doesn’t mean they all are.

If we don’t take the “desperate for change” faction into account we’ll have no chance of addressing the concerns that have driven them to such desperation.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 google news

If Zaphod Beeblebrox promised to upend the status quo and effect change, and looked as if he could actually achieve this, the American people would totally vote for him, papier mâché paper second head or not.

Heck, they’d even vote for Arthur Dent’s dressing gown if they thought it would make a difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

This isn't an accident

Trump’s one consistency has been his strategy: lie so much and so often that while everyone is busy debunking one, he’s already pushed out three more. For example, he lied during the debate when he claimed that he’d never labeled global warming a fraud — it’s right there in his Twitter stream. Repeatedly. But the focus shifted quickly to Ms. Machado and to his non-release of his tax returns and now to his illegal financial activities in Cuba.

Anyone trying to keep track of all this will quickly find it overwhelming — and that’s the point. For low-information, low-education, low-intelligence voters, this is far too much to take in, so they’ll simply discard it or write it off as “the liberal media”. Trump’s gotten so good at this that he can lie about something he said minutes earlier and bluster through it.

It really is a brilliant strategy: it leverages the cult of personality with the gullibility of large segments of the population — well, and their inherent racism, bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia. Trump’s base is amazingly stupid and just as amazingly hateful toward everyone who isn’t white, male, conservative and Christian. These inferior people are easily deceived — as long as they’re told what they want to hear.

So while you can critique him for lying (again) (and again) do keep in mind that it’s not going to stop and that he doesn’t really care if you or anyone else calls him out on it. He’s already five lies past it and going strong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This isn't an accident

For example, he lied during the debate when he claimed that he’d never labeled global warming a fraud — it’s right there in his Twitter stream.

So let me get this straight? You are dinging a politician for lying? How is it that you hate Trumps lies more than Hillary’s? Biased much? Hillary has used the death of Americans to advance false agendas, so far not even Trump’s lies measure up to the Benghazi lies.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This isn't an accident

No, really, what “Benghazi lies?” What “using the death of Americans to advance false agendas?”

Sure, the day of the attack Hillary refused to declare it organized terrorism. Nor did she deny it. Following riots at other embassies undeniably sparked by that stupid film, that was just a professional, honest assessment with no jumping to conclusions before the facts come in.

There were at least a dozen attacks on US diplomats and US diplomatic facilities during the precious Republican administration – a few of them very similar to Benghazi with similar death tolls. NONE were investigated anywhere near as much. ALL could be used to make the same claims of corruption, incompetence and cover-ups.

And yet you don’t hear those claims. Because it’s you – and who-ever spoon-feeds you your partisan wingnuttery – who is using the death of Americans to advance false agendas.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 This isn't an accident

What’s baffling to me is that there are people who, when they hear about a terrorist attack by extremist Muslims, and that a negligent politician failed to stop it, and then made inaccurate statements about the intelligence the White House got prior to the attack, and then used the attack to falsely push an unrelated and destructive political agenda of Middle East intervention, and that also the attack in question took place on September 11…the first person they think of is Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 This isn't an accident

“negligent politician failed to stop it,”

I assume you are referring to congress here, due to their reduction of funding for security at our embassies.

” destructive political agenda of Middle East intervention”

You mean that shitstorm that has been going on for over half a century?

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: This isn't an accident

“used the death of American’s to promote a false agenda”. really weird grammar there. you could have an agenda with false motives, or a hidden agenda, but an agenda is a list of goals. How do you advance a false list of goals? what does that even MEAN?

Anyway, do you perhaps mean like the politician using 9/11 and a few other, random, scattered, rare, terror attacks, overstating the threat and falsely assigning the largest threat to bar an entire religion from entering the United States? Because that’s not Hillary.

Why do I find Trump lies worse? Trump doesn’t just lie. he lies about lying. He lies, about lying about his lies. ect. Trump appears to change the truth to fit his mood. Like his net worth. its a mathmatical value based on actual physical holdings. But trump adds a value supported by no accounting system – a highly variable intangible that represents his “brand”. Like even without all the stuff that makes up the Trump brand, it would still have this ethereal value. and it changes at his whim. And he then says other people are lying if they don’t include this “brand value” in his net worth, even though there is no evidence to support its value. And it grows from there. He’ll make a policy position and after he abandons that policy position He never made that previous policy decision. Clinton admits when she changes a position. she might not explain herself, but she admits the previous statement. Trump edits, in real time, the past. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Thats why Trumps lies are so dangerous.

I.T. Guy says:

A quick search of “Hillary Clinton Cr” Brings up:
Hillary Clinton Crying
Hillary Clinton Crowds
Hillary Clinton Cried
Hillary Clinton Cries of Character
My favorite – Hillary Clinton Cross eyed
Hillary Clinton criminal investigation google

This is the dumbest thing I have heard of yet. If you want to search hillary clinton crimes then do so:

and likewise with Trump:

Idiocy I tell ya.

Cooper's Loincloth says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Lying Liars who Lie.

I are part of “the public”, you are too. Probably.

The difference, as I pointed out, is that Hillary lies to the public as well as lying (under oath in some cases) to the government.

The Donald just hasn’t been in the position to be investigated for “extreme carelessness” yet.

It’s called perjury when we do it tho

Anonymous Coward says:

“It would literally have to hate money to take such an action. Anyone think that Google hates money?

Hi Timothy,

Politics (and whether or not google is actually manipulating their search results to favor a particular candidate or not) aside, a defense of google based on the wishful thinking effectiveness of corporate shaming/invisible hand motivations is the epitome of lame reasoning. I’m sooooo over hearing about how this company or that (esp. when they’re as large/systemic as google) would NEVER engage in ‘X’ dubious behavior because of the potential customer backlash. Uhm, spoiler:


Yahoo, Google, et al. read all your private digital correspondence. Microsoft just made their latest OS into what is basically 3GB’s worth of spyware that they make you rent from them. Verizon injected a unique tracking id into all users web traffic w/o telling them. But OMG wait, those things could never happen! Because those companies would never do anything like that cuz the public might find out and then… …and then a bunch of folks will bitch for a little while and there will ultimately be little adverse consequence to the company. Because that’s what usually happens and these companies know it.

Google is in complete control of their search results. They could easily manipulate them in any way they wished. And they could do so in ways that would make it very hard to catch them. And even if they did get caught, they’d just relate some plausibly deniable excuse that they’d come up with well in advance for just such an event occurring.


Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Anyone who knows anything about search engines (I admit my knowledge is basic) would surely know that each enquiry affects how search results are displayed. For example, if you search my name, skip over the troll posts (creep tried to get me fired from my job while trying to provoke a flame war), then only read the other posts about me, the next time you look me up the results will be different.


Because results are sorted according to relevance and popularity. The more often certain items are searched for, e.g. “Wendy Cockcroft On t’Internet” the higher up the search results my blog posts will display.

Try it, leave it for a few days, then check again.

Search engine companies can influence their search results by changing algorithms but they can’t change search behaviour. If people want to look up “Wendy Cockcroft copyright” they will. And when they do they’ll find that I’m a right opinionated so-and-so (you don’t need to bother). They are not omnipotent. If they were, there would be no copyright infringement, trolling, or other unwanted behaviours.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This may surprise you, but contrary to what some people believe it is actually possible to be against both people, and criticism of one doesn’t mean support of the other. One can be critical of one candidate without supporting the other, and if you think an article calling Trump out on another lie is somehow evidence of support for Hilary then does that make the multiple articles critical of something Hilary has said or done evidence of support for Trump?

As for ‘easily check yourself’, absolutely right, a quick search should clear that right up.

Clinton auto-complete results.

‘Hilary Clinton c…’

‘Hilary Clinton cr…’
Crisis of character

‘Hilary Clinton cri…’
Crisis of character
Criminal investigation Google
Cried after Donald Trump

Trump auto-complete results

‘Donald Trump c…’

‘Donald Trump cr…’
Crooked Hilary

‘Donald Trump cri…’
Crippled america

Yup, you were absolutely right, that quick check made it quite clear that the two are receiving drastically different results from auto-complete, confirming that Google is indeed giving Hilary special treatment. I mean sure she had ‘cried’ and ‘crisis of character’ several times, but Trump had both Cuba and China in the first set, obvious evidence of malicious intent on Google’s behalf.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m not sure why a discussion of media bias is appearing in an article about google autocomplete. They are a search engine. They don’t even publish anything….oh i get it. you DO think google is “publishing” autocomplete results don’t you. its making little headlines just for you. Well a bunch of people have thought that. They even sued google over auto correct search results. So google changed auto correct in its search. Now they remove negative autocomplete statements for EVERYONE. No more defamatory google autocomplete results. Now everyone will be happy.

What do you mean someone created some highly baised “journalism” “showing” that we were editing search results about Clinton and nobody but clinton?

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think the argument is that Google’s news search results reflect the news articles which the media is producing, so the dearth of negative results in Google searches represents the lack of negative coverage by the media, which indicates bias towards the thing not being negatively covered.

This argument ignores at least one obvious explanation which does not involve bias, in addition to being offtopic to the article currently at hand, but it is at least internally consistent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Note to self: stay away from comment threads in the runup to elections.

One day soon the election will be over, the loser’s supporters will graciusly and gracefully admit defeat and pledge full support to the winner. The country will continue with a steady hand on the tiller and a co-operative Conress – all with the good of the country and it’s citizens fully in mind at all times. That is what happens next, isn’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

(pre-emptive note: your sarcasm was detected)

This will not happen, and the reason why is pretty simple. Folks with a brain on either side consider this an election between lesser evils. Therefore when the other side wins, it means they ended up with an evil for president even worse than the one they were forced to tolerate. I honestly won’t be surprised if the winner gets assassinated. EITHER winner.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So now even you have become regressive shills for the far left?

Uh… what? You apparently don’t read this site very often if you think that’s true.

Keep it up and you’re going to start to lose readers.

If we lose idiots who haven’t actually read what we wrote but jump to wrong conclusions based on partisan bullshit, fuck off and good riddance. I don’t want such people here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Mike, my man, maybe take a moment to sit back and think about what may drive him to believe there’s a lefty-lefty-bo-befty bias here. Such as the recent articles bashing Trump, despite the fact that he’s the one remaining candidate opposed to the TPP, instead of the one who helped write it. Trump might not oppose it for the same reasons most of us do, but he DOES oppose it, and for reasons that are also good.

For anyone who’s used to this site slamming that shit for the massive pile that it is, anti-Trump articles of any sort except his anti 1st 4th and 5th amendment stances feel kind of off. (and you could fill a very depressing book with those)

As a regular reader, my impression is certainly that you guys shit on Trump’s blatant idiocy more than you drop stinky brown loaf-bombs on Hillary’s corruption, her above the law status, and her being wall street’s dancing speech-making monkey. Now, there’s a claim to be made that Trump fucks up tech stuff more than Hillary does, but I think the recent lack of coverage of the StoneTear stuff here shows a clear bias. It involved tech, it involved dirt, it involved perjury, politics, Hillary’s emails (which you’ve even covered before!) and even social media and privacy via the Reddit aspect. Not a peep to be found here. I just searched to double check.

I grant that making fun of Trump is certainly easier, especially when he opens his tard-hole about “the cyber”, but who you focus more positive/negative time and print on matters when it comes to accusations of bias, and when you pick that low hanging Trump fruit too often instead of bothering with the nuance required for Hillary’s own vile history, maybe the AC you replied to has a point.

As for your final paragraph there, that’s not cool. One of the biggest issues with our partisanship today is the tendency to assume the worst of people and dehumanise them. I bothered to type this out because I respect you and appreciate your opinions, even when I don’t agree with you. Please try to grant that same consideration to others, such as the AC you replied to above.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Look, it would be really easy to get frustrated about comments like these, but I’m not going to. All I will do instead is implore you to read the vast body of work produced by Techdirt generally, and myself in particular. If you do that and come away with the idea still that I am a partisan on the left, then I think you probably should indeed leave the site, because that just isn’t true.

On this post in particular, I attempted to focus on the relevant facts and one candidate pitching the lie that is a conspiracy theory against those facts. Nothing about that is partisan. You may not believe that when I say so, but I’m being perfectly honest with you.

As an aside, so you understand where I’m coming from, in most political discussions I have, my friends on the left generally like to refer to me as a conservative, while my friends on the right go on and on about how liberal I am. It’s a frustrating way to try to talk to people, and I would encourage you not join those folks, because that’s how you STOP conversations, not start them….

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Trump as Bratty Five-Year-Old and Russia

I formed my opinion of Donald Trump back in 1988 or 1989, when he tried to take over American Airlines. Since then, I have never seen any reason to reconsider my negative and dismissive opinion of Trump. I agree with Gov.Nikki Haley (R) of South Carolina that Trump is a badly brought-up five-year-old.

Monday night, Hillary didn’t make a big deal of it, but she got Trump to endorse Putin, without ambiguity or mental reservation. People often react that way when they are under strain, eg. being cross-examined in the witness box. Anyone who does not grasp the seriousness of Trump’s Putin-philia should read a certain classic book, which is fortunately available online, for free.

Victor Vashi, Red Primer for Children and Diplomats, 1967

It is just what it says. Terrible matter, geared to the understanding of children. That does not, of course mean that Trump can understand it…

Anonimous Coward says:

Adjectives Matter

Before you read this, let me convey that this is NOT a deep and insightful foray into nit-picking detail on this topic. This is a quick and dirty search of Techdirt using the two strings:


It does not eliminate ANY results, includes comments and unintentional hits (trumps vs. Trump, for instance) so this is just a flat comparison of how often each candidate’s name is associated with a particular adjective in a post or comment (multiple identical results not removed either)

Trump+stupid 5490 results
Hillary+stupid 2980 results
Trump+crazy 2030 results
Hillary+crazy 906 results
Trump+dumb 1410 results
Hillary+dumb 681 results
Trump+evil 2330 results
Hillary+evil 1540 results
Trump+corrupt 940 results
Hillary+corrupt 507 results
Trump+dangerous 1940 results
Hillary+dangerous 943 results
Trump+criminal 2670 results
Hillary+criminal 1320 results

So, what does this prove? Not a damn thing. It does, however, show that there is a pretty clear correlation between terminology used and the candidate on this site, with Trump getting much more of the “negative” associations than Hillary.

Take it or leave it, but how you say something matters along with what you say IMO.

Anonimous Coward says:

Re: Re: Adjectives Matter

The point —> .

You missing the point: “Only among the specific negative words you chose.”

Chose your own search criteria if you want to see if the correlation holds. I picked low hanging fruit (actually, those are the first seven negative adjectives I thought of).

Liar, cheat, ignorant, racist, bigot – lots more to try.

Anonimous Coward says:

Re: Re: Adjectives Matter

“Your correlation is completely without meaning, but you knew that.”

Yeah, I ummm… said that in the original post in the beginning AND at the end. Just pointing out that implied bias can be inferred based on a completely non-rigorous or statistical sampling. Isn’t it at all odd to you how easy it was?

Oh, and before anyone flames about it, I did spell Anonimous wrong on purpose – differentiates my posts from y’alls so you know it’s from me, not some other Coward.

Anonymous Coward says:

Algorithmic bias as a function of political opinion,

Google is pretty clear about the basic functionality of their algorithms. They tend to be driven by link density. Which is to say, that bias in results will tend to follow publication volume, and mesh density.

Yes there is bias. It is weighted in a winner take all way. And that is exactly what Google says in their documentation.

Trumpies, being by and large free market fundamentalists shouldn’t have a problem with that, even if there is human intervention. (which I doubt)

I think what people are pissed about is micro targeting. But few know what it is or how it works. All they know is they are being fucked with.

I would ascribe right wing anger to that as much as anything else. And since it is a core component of Googles business model, the right wing IS actually pissed at the right people for once, though for the wrong reason.

So I don’t mind standing on the side line when the tar and feathers come out.

And I would like to avail both sides of the idea that there is no such thing as “liberal” or “conservative” media bias. There is only “get those dumb fucks to fight so we can watch and laugh” bias.

Steve Day (profile) says:

TechDirt must be pro-Hillary

I tested the claims made against Google myself, as I don’t take people’s words at face value. I found that the “conspiracy” was a fact and Google was suppressing “bad” terms (ie: her crimes, pay-to-play, clinton foundation corruption, etc. etc.) for Clinton in the autocomplete bar.

This story claiming Google’s proven actions to be just lies is complete BS. Obviously someone behind TechDirt is part of the whole “Get crooked Clinton into the Whitehouse and have our cash-for-favors tokens cashed in”.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: TechDirt must be pro-Hillary

Sigh, please read the article again, because you missed a pretty important point. Yes, Google suppresses some negative content about Hillary Clinton, as it does about Donald Trump and pretty much all highly recognized public figures’ names. The algorithm is trying to weed out vulgar or defamatory content about anyone’s name.

The point isn’t that Google isn’t suppressing autocomplete results. It is, and it has come out and stated as much. The point is that there’s no bias in this, because it’s doing the exact same thing for Trump’s name….

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