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Study Finds: Google Interfered in US Elections 41 Times

Study Finds: Google Interfered in US Elections 41 Times

According to a new study conducted by the Media Research Center, Google has “interfered” in major US elections 41 times since 2008.

I recall writing about this in 2016, when search results for “Hillary Clinton” showed positive information and search results for “Donald Trump” showed negative information (click here to read more).

Google’s impact on elections has “surged dramatically” in recent years, “making it evermore harmful to democracy,” warns Dan Schneider, Vice President of MRC division Free Speech America. “In every case, Google harmed the candidates – regardless of party – who threatened its left-wing candidate of choice.” 

Despite a slew of lawsuits, investigations, and excuses, Google’s biased behavior seems to show no signs of slowing.

“From the mouths of Google executives, the tech giant let slip what was never meant to be made public: That Google uses its ‘great strength and resources and reach’ to advance its leftist values,” continues Schneider. The company’s “outsized influence on information technology, the body politic, and American elections became evident in 2008. After failing to prevent then-candidate for president Donald Trump from being inaugurated following the 2016 election, Google has since made clear to any discerning observer that it has been – and will continue – interfering in America’s elections.”

As I wrote previously, Google’s spam filtering algorithms are believed to have cost the Republican Party $2 billion in fundraising between 2019 and 2022. 

Just yesterday, I wrote about the “woke” bias displayed by Google’s newest AI tool Gemini. In addition to its hesitance to produce images of white people, the bot refused to answer any questions it perceived as “damaging” to President Joe Biden.

“Utilizing the many tools in its arsenal, Google aided those who most closely aligned with its leftist values from election cycle to election cycle since as far back as the 2008 presidential election,” argues Schneider. “Meanwhile, it targeted for censorship those candidates who posed the most serious threat.”

Examples cited in the MRC study include: 

  • Obvious support for Barack Obama vs John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012)
  • Failure to balance positive and negative search results for Rick Santorum (2012)
  • Excluding autofill results that could have damaged Hillary Clinton’s reputation during her presidential campaign, while not doing the same for her competitors (2016)
  • Assisting Latino voters who were expected to vote Blue get to the polls (2016)
  • Pausing Tulsi Gabbard’s Ads account immediately following a key primary debate (2020)
  • Hiding a majority of GOP campaign websites for 12 Senate races (2022)
  • Concealing websites for Biden’s rivals (2024)

What was originally perceived as “meddling” has transformed into “an organizational mission to ensure that its candidates win on election day,” says Schneider, pointing to additional studies that suggest Google’s algorithms shifted over 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election and its “get out the vote” campaign shifted 6 million votes to Joe Biden in 2020. 

As a whole, the MRC is urging Americans to stop using Google’s search engine and has called on Congress to investigate the tech giant on grounds that it:

  • Works with the federal government to limit Americans’ constitutional rights (including Freedom of Speech)
  • Interferes with elections 
  • Defrauds users by its failure to adhere to its own Terms of Service 

Of course, Google continues to deny any bias, wrongdoing, or interference. 

“We have a clear business incentive to keep everyone using our products, so we have no desire to make them biased or inaccurate and have safeguards in place to ensure this,” a Google spokesperson told Fox News, adding that liberal politicians have accused the search engine of having a conservative bias (he failed to provide examples).

Author’s Note: With a majority of Americans getting their news from the Internet and Google being the most popular search engine, it’s simply unavoidable that its biased search results won’t impact elections.

There’s a certain inherent trust when using a search engine that the results you get are factual. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case with Google. 

Sources:

Google has ‘interfered’ with elections 41 times over the last 16 years, Media Research Center says

Rick Santorum’s Google Problem Becomes the Story

Google Alters Searches to Favor Hillary Clinton – Try It For Yourself

Google’s Algorithms are Still Biased – Cost Republicans 2 Billion

About The Author

4 Comments

  1. Tim niggler

    The democrats will screw up anything that they touch

    Reply
  2. FRANK STETSON

    Alice: I had great hopes for you, but on this one, you admit you’ve been hanging round here since at least 2016 and after over 8 years, Oh Alice.

    I hate google for being part of an oligopoly that like a black hole, shadows the light and consumes anything that gets close. Microsoft, Apple, the same. Too big. I applaud Alice for going after them. Yet, she leans on partisan myths and a source that will never prove her case except to those who believed her already. She fails as a journalist, but I still have hope she can improve. Think she has the chops to beat a dead horse.

    This time she leads: “According to a new study conducted by the Media Research Center, Google has “interfered” in major US elections 41 times since 2008.” Ok, this is a research report, yes, a study, but basically a compilation of clips and tidbits MRC has gleaned by doing searches, no doubt. There is no statistics, no quantitative efforts, just qualitative reporting from a very biased source, MRC.

    That not journalism Alice, that’s a PR puff piece that you wrote. Copy/paste, copy/paste.

    Journalism 101 says single-source stories should be avoided like the plague. This is basically a single-source story, using Media Research Center as the sole source. You then back it up with prior acts which, as you know, are generally prohibited in court. Not that journalism is under those stipulations, but with only a single source, they are much weaker, almost whiney, to bring all the other shit in, plus many of those have been shot down already. And Alice should know that, should present that, but she blithely goes about her business translucently instead.

    Your source, MRC, is seen by Media Bias Fact Check as “Overall, we rate Media Research Center strongly right-biased based on advocacy for a conservative agenda and Mixed for factual reporting due to the promotion of propaganda, pseudoscience, and a poor fact-check record by their primary sources.” Note the plural – sources – as MRC is biased, but professional.
    For funding, MBFC adds: “MRC is funded through donations, with some large donors including the Bradley, Scaife, Olin, Castle Rock, Carthage, and JM foundations. It also receives funding from ExxonMobil due to its skepticism on Climate Change…..The Heritage Foundation states that Rebekah Mercer serves on the board….Rebekah Mercer is the daughter of right-wing philanthropist Robert Mercer who heavily funded the Trump Campaign.” Damn, have to sell my OLN now… :>) Not really, I never mix politics with equities, I still like OLN.

    AllSides, another bias tracker states: “Media Research Center is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Right. The Media Research Center (MRC) is transparent about its bias. Its homepage states (retrieved Dec. 8, 2022), “The mission of The Media Research Center is to document and combat the falsehoods and censorship of the news media, entertainment media and Big Tech in order to defend and preserve America’s founding principles and Judeo-Christian values.”

    So much for religious freedom, unless you are Judeo-Christian of course.
    Alice says: “interfered 41 times since 2008.” Wow, that’s some stretch — 15 years. And she adds: “Of course, Google continues to deny any bias, wrongdoing, or interference.” Note she did not ask Google. That would be reporting. Also, there are no secondary sources, especially needed if a journalist is going to rely on either hard right or hard left sources. This a basic journalism 101 failure.

    She concludes: “There’s a certain inherent trust when using a search engine that the results you get are factual. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case with Google.” Actually Alice, the search results probably factual, just biased by not showing results from both sides. We call that Spin.

    If she had looked, Newsweek said “unverified” to the same shit in 2022.

    *https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-did-study-prove-google-censors-republicans-key-senate-races-1754655*

    I can’t find any current comebacks, I expect they will come in time, but Alice got blown away in the blogosphere download downstream from FOX’s Gutfield spewing MRC’s partisan party line for money.

    I cannot bust this in that Alice may be right. Just can’t prove it either way and really don’t want to do her work for her since she seems very comfortable in not becoming a professional journalist versus her PR flack work.

    Reply
  3. Jjb-54

    NEWS FLASH:
    IF anyone did NOT see this coming by now .. had their heads berried in the sand.

    I’m sorry – but if you are looking to Google – YouTube and such to “play fair” – “play nice” – and thought the Constitution meant anything to them, you actually deserved to be cut off.

    Sorry – but this has been happening now since before 2020.

    Thus you and other’s like you should have been making a PLAN B and building on it so you could tell Google / YouTube where to shove it!

    You have only yourselves to blame.

    Reply
  4. MSGLeo

    It seems like Google should be fined $2 billion dollars that goes directly to the RNC.

    Reply

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