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 online in the last day. It complains that the News tab for Trump brings up…news sites…rather than right-wing opinion sites…like PJ Media. https://t.co/RfEM6a0PRm pic.twitter.com/HOfN7zyQm0
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 28, 2018
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, USA Today, Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg, Reuters (to which Trump just gave an interview)…
In other words, this is all very silly. But you knew that. pic.twitter.com/tfmcDbcMn4
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 28, 2018
“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.”
CNN, The Washington Post, and NBC were the three most-frequent results for a “Trump news” Google search – because they are news sites.
you're literally the stupidest person to ever walk the earth. pic.twitter.com/tof6d14BTC
— drew olanoff (@yoda) August 28, 2018
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.
These people really don’t understand how Google’s algorithm works. Those conservative sites get less traffic and have less reliable content and therefore show up in fewer search results. This isn’t complicated.
— Chase Teeples (@nchaseteeples) August 28, 2018
Here’s what Twitter had to say about the president “rage-Googling” himself.
‘Trump is rage-googling himself, and he doesn't like what he's found’
‘Another possibility is that Trump just had a historically bad week’ 😜https://t.co/AWmRsdvgZI
— RynheartTheReluctant (@TheRynheart) August 28, 2018
Similarly when I Google "dog shit" it gives me pictures of dog shit. Google is left wing trash!!
— Rob DenBleyker (@RobDenBleyker) August 28, 2018
Gandpa, that’s Google’s algorithm. You’re searching for CNN too often 😂 that’s your own pattern.
— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 🇪🇺✈️ (@Neiswestnij) August 28, 2018
So, true… the more you look something up the more google will deliver the same.
— Taco Reviewer (@TacoReviewer) August 28, 2018
Even God jumped in.
SAYS THE GUY THAT GOT ELECTED BY SAYING WHATEVER HE WANTS ON TWITTER AND BOOSTING IT WITH RUSSIAN BOTS
— God (@thegoodgodabove) August 28, 2018
Others pounced on Trump’s threat to throttle Google and interfere with a free and open internet.
What is dangerous is your feeble attempts to suppress freedom of speech and a free press. You promote Fox on a daily basis. You include Dobbs and Hannity on policy issues. When did they get security clearance? You are creating issues with a free press and democracy.
— D Bernier (@BernierDarcy) August 28, 2018
This is an open attack on free press, and the free trade you hold so dear. ANOTHER violation of the constitution. History will remember you as the villian you are. Congress #ImpeachTrump
— Veil of Skyrend (@Ewokiller) August 28, 2018
You're an idiot. No one is controlling anything although we all knew you wish you could control everything and be a dictator. You just are so pathetic, weak and whiny that your ego can't handle the fact that the majority in this country think you are horrible!
— Lynn Marie (@nlm53) August 28, 2018
You, sir, are dangerous; always spreading the fear mongering to your supporters. You're the one wanting to control what we see. You spread your "good news" about yourself every day, so no worries. I'm going to Google "how to disinfect a gold toilet bowl" and see what comes up.
— joyce pruitt (@pruitt_joyce) August 28, 2018
Sorry, Mr. President, that’s just not how the internet works.
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 (@ktigger2) August 28, 2018
Circular thinking. I'm great, there should be all favorable news. There aren't, its a conspiracy. I'm a victim of fake news and Google conspiracy.
— G.deGuzman (@gdeguzman99) August 28, 2018
Trump would know something about press manipulation, though.
Like having a friend who owns the National Enquirer buy and bury stories? Yes. This SHOULD be addressed.
— Todd Torgerson (@TorgersonTodd) August 28, 2018
— OBGal 🙏🏽🖖🏼✌🏽🌈💞 (@OBTinia) August 28, 2018