home Apps, Internet, Mobile Tech Trump administration might explore regulating Google searches for bias

Trump administration might explore regulating Google searches for bias

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The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would explore regulating Google — an effort that would challenge protections around free speech online — in response to the president’s allegations that the tech giant manipulates its search results to prominently display negative stories about him and other Republicans. In the United States, regulating search results could violate the First Amendment, said lawmakers from both parties, free-speech advocates and tech experts.

President Trump in a predawn tweet claimed that search returns for “Trump News” were “RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD,” apparently responding to a report from Fox News. Then, his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the White House is “taking a look” at whether, and how, Google should be regulated by the government.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Google has however denied the allegations and said its search results aren’t politically biased.The Trump administration’s threat drew rebukes from Democrats and a few Republicans, who said government shouldn’t play a role in monitoring search results or other content online.

Riva Sciuto, a spokeswoman for Google, said that when users “type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda, and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”

Google processes 90 percent of searches globally, and its powerful algorithms return results based on their calculated relevance, a process Google portrays as neutral. Google takes into account signals including a user’s geographic location and browsing history, which is why Trump’s search results look different from what another user might see. Social media platforms differ from a search because information on social media is circulated through friends and brands that users choose to follow.

But Google’s algorithm is shrouded in secrecy, and in the past, Google has faced investigations for giving preference to its own products and services in search results. Source

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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