Early this morning President Trump decided to expand his “fake news” narrative by attacking Google for amplifying what he considers left-leaning news organizations, while failing to give proper placement to Conservative organizations. Although Google blasted the President later in the day, his attacks on third party social media and web platforms has continued this afternoon.
“I think what Google and what others are doing, if you look at what’s going on with Twitter, if you look at what’s going on with Facebook, they better be careful because you can’t do that to people,” he told reporters at the White House this afternoon. “So I think that Google, and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful. It’s not fair to large portions of the population.”
Despite Trump’s warnings and threats, nearly every legal scholar we’ve spoken to has indicated that even if these corporations were to amplify specific search results or social media posts over others, based on the political context of those results, there would very little legal ground for the President to do anything about it.
While Google and Facebook have indicated that they are not biased, relying on computer algorithms to determine results and post placement, Twitter admitted that their employees are biased towards the left, but that they do not allow such bias to have an impact on the company’s operations.
Today’s attacks appear to have been made without much evidence of any bias and they likely are just another ploy by Mr. Trump to discredit legitimate news.