Politics

Google Bias or Not? Employees Wanted to Fight Trump’s Travel Ban by Manipulating Search Results

Workers for the tech giant plotted to do all they could to subvert president's orders, as these emails reveal

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Google is once again in the spotlight: Internal emails from the tech giant reveal conversations among employees focused on manipulating search results in the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, according to Fox News.

The emails show Google staffers discussing ways to alter the company’s algorithm to point users toward pro-immigration organizations, lawmakers and agencies — in other words, search returns that fit the staffers’ own political beliefs.

The emails were written on Jan. 29, 2017, two days after Trump signed the initial controversial travel order that sparked protests nationwide.

The email chain, first obtained by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and also by The Wall Street Journal, shows Google staffers admitting to colleagues that action against the ban must be taken immediately.

“Overall idea: Leverage search to highlight important organizations to donate to, current news, etc. to keep people abreast of how they can help as well as the resources available for immigrations [sic] or people traveling,” one email sent by a marketing employee reportedly said.

“I know this would require a full-on sprint to make happen, but I think this is the sort of super timely and imperative information that we need, as we know that this country and Google would not exist without immigration,” a product manager responded, as Fox News reported.

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As discussed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” responses from other Google employees included comments such as “We’re absolutely in,” and “Excellent initiative.”

Other emails revealed that an employee called the travel ban a “highly political issue,” while a separate email detailed a “large brainstorm” operation that was apparently happening companywide.

Google didn’t deny the validity of the emails.

It provided the same response to both “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and WSJ.

“These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented. Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology — not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies,” a Google spokesperson said, according to Fox News.

Related: This Angered Media the Most About Google Bias Report

Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News that the scandal would be more significant if there were evidence that Google staffers had “actually taken action on this left-wing insanity,” but “It is scary that manipulating the search to push a liberal agenda was even discussed.”

One message featured a staffer asking for an OK to make it easier for users to donate to the ACLU through Google.

As the WSJ pointed out, Google co-founder Sergey Brin is an emigrant from the Soviet Union  who once appeared at a rally to protest Trump’s travel ban.

His company now controls the majority of internet searches, and the word Google is now as a verb — in addition to a company name.

“Google is the most powerful company in the history of the world. Virtually all human information flows through its software and for that reason Google shapes how much of the world understands reality,” said Tucker Carlson on his show on Thursday.

“At the heart of Google’s business is its search engine, which has a virtual monopoly on search in this country. But what if Google was lying to you?”

See more on the Google bias story in the video below.

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