Early Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter to whine that when he Googled "Trump news" - only the "Fake New [sic] Media" appeared in the results. The president suggested Google was "rigging" the internet and "shutting out" right-leaning news sites.
Specifically, Trump claimed that 96 percent of "results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous."
Trump accused Google of "suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good." Google is "controlling what we can & cannot see," the president asserted. "This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!"
At first glance, these tweets appear to be another example of Trump deriding news he doesn't like as "fake." But he didn't pull the "96 percent" statistic out of thin air.
The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale found that Trump was citing a right-wing opinion site, PJ Media, which since Saturday has been yammering about actual news showing up when people search Google - for news.
Dale tweeted on Tuesday that a PJ Media article published over the weekend "complains that the News tab for Trump brings up...news sites...rather than right-wing opinion sites...like PJ Media."
Trump’s “96%” complaint about Google is from an article by right-wing PJ Media that has been making the rounds onli… https://t.co/32fXjm9t8o— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1535453035.0
Indeed, this is exactly what the article said.
Dale shared the "bias" alleged by PJ Media, which he called "very silly."
Here is the “bias” classification system the PJ Media uses. Among the “left-wing” outlets: the Associated Press, US… https://t.co/CsU1Qt2vnk— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1535454133.0
"PJ Media did not appear in the first 100 results, nor did National Review, The Weekly Standard, Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Wire, Hot Air, Townhall, Red State, or any other conservative-leaning sites except the two listed above," Paula Boynard of PJ Media wrote. All of the sites Boynard listed are right-wing opinion sites - not news.
"CNN has a disproportionate number of articles returned when searching for "Trump" — nearly 29 percent of the total," Boynard added. "In fact, left-leaning sites comprised 96 percent of the total results."
@ddale8 I have my own problem with Google. Every time I search for “current U.S. President”, it keeps telling me it’s “Donald Trump”.— Courtney McCain 🌊 (@Courtney McCain 🌊)1535453124.0
CNN, The Washington Post, and NBC were the three most-frequent results for a "Trump news" Google search - because they are news sites.
@realDonaldTrump you're literally the stupidest person to ever walk the earth. https://t.co/tof6d14BTC— drew olanoff (@drew olanoff)1535463397.0
For the president and his followers, this is apparently a problem. For people who care about news, it's how Google is supposed to function.
@ddale8 These people really don’t understand how Google’s algorithm works. Those conservative sites get less traffi… https://t.co/xBzAE3otle— Chase Teeples (@Chase Teeples)1535453943.0
Here's what Twitter had to say about the president "rage-Googling" himself.
@realDonaldTrump ‘Trump is rage-googling himself, and he doesn't like what he's found’ ‘Another possibility is tha… https://t.co/0bJDASQ7uq— RynheartTheReluctant (@RynheartTheReluctant)1535463320.0
@realDonaldTrump Similarly when I Google "dog shit" it gives me pictures of dog shit. Google is left wing trash!!— Rob DenBleyker (@Rob DenBleyker)1535461429.0
@realDonaldTrump Gandpa, that’s Google’s algorithm. You’re searching for CNN too often 😂 that’s your own pattern.— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 🇪🇺✈️ (@¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 🇪🇺✈️)1535462885.0
@Neiswestnij @realDonaldTrump So, true... the more you look something up the more google will deliver the same.— Taco Reviewer (@Taco Reviewer)1535464778.0
Even God jumped in.
@realDonaldTrump SAYS THE GUY THAT GOT ELECTED BY SAYING WHATEVER HE WANTS ON TWITTER AND BOOSTING IT WITH RUSSIAN BOTS— God (@God)1535449012.0
Others pounced on Trump's threat to throttle Google and interfere with a free and open internet.
@realDonaldTrump What is dangerous is your feeble attempts to suppress freedom of speech and a free press. You prom… https://t.co/YQlMgx0v8t— D Bernier (@D Bernier)1535463799.0
@realDonaldTrump This is an open attack on free press, and the free trade you hold so dear. ANOTHER violation of t… https://t.co/scfNohTca6— Veil of Skyrend (@Veil of Skyrend)1535463229.0
@realDonaldTrump You're an idiot. No one is controlling anything although we all knew you wish you could control e… https://t.co/Yb8byCReop— Lynn Marie (@Lynn Marie)1535464690.0
@realDonaldTrump You, sir, are dangerous; always spreading the fear mongering to your supporters. You're the one w… https://t.co/i49tiSRflK— joyce pruitt (@joyce pruitt)1535465011.0
Sorry, Mr. President, that's just not how the internet works.
@ddale8 So the issue is googling ‘news’ brings up news sites. Got it. Also, someone doesn’t know how the internet works. But you knew that.— KinMN (@KinMN)1535456510.0
@ddale8 Circular thinking. I'm great, there should be all favorable news. There aren't, its a conspiracy. I'm a vi… https://t.co/vUskGzDXzl— G.deGuzman (@G.deGuzman)1535453637.0
Trump would know something about press manipulation, though.
@realDonaldTrump Like having a friend who owns the National Enquirer buy and bury stories? Yes. This SHOULD be addressed.— Todd Torgerson (@Todd Torgerson)1535463279.0
@realDonaldTrump 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/66VQ3bjp9Z— 🍑🙏🏽🖖🏼✌🏽🌈💞🆘VoteBlue! (@🍑🙏🏽🖖🏼✌🏽🌈💞🆘VoteBlue!)1535464162.0