Google has long been accused of suppressing conservative speech, but a new study shows the internet search engine giant is playing favorites with Democrats in the 2024 presidential race.
By typing in just one query, “Presidential campaign websites,” Google returned only Democratic Party candidates — some of whom are not even running in 2024, according to Media Research Center, the media watchdog and parent of conservative news site NewsBusters, which is “committed to exposing and combating liberal media bias.”
No Republican candidates appeared on the first page of results even though the search was conducted the day before the first GOP debate, the study found.
“Google has consistently stood apart from all other search engines, and not in a good way. We have repeatedly seen Google and Big Tech social media platforms treat Republican candidates harshly compared to their Democrat opponents,” said MRC Free Speech Vice President Dan Schneider in a statement.
The study shows by googling the presidential campaign query, the first campaign sites to pop up are President Joe Biden and fellow Democratic Party presidential nomination seeker Marianne Williamson. The next three websites that pop up are former Dem presidential candidates, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Bernie Sanders (VT), and 2016 presidential election loser Hillary Clinton.
Conspicuously missing, Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The Kennedy family scion was polling at 17 percent in the latest Fox News poll of Democratic Party primary voters, a distant second to Biden but a more than respectable number for an incumbent president challenger loathed by most of the so-called mainstream media and much of the left.
“Basically, anybody who is a threat to Joe Biden’s public-relations campaign does not appear in the Google search results,” Schneider told The Star News Network in an interview Friday afternoon.
The Star News Network did its own search using the “presidential campaign websites” query. The search did indeed show Biden’s and Williamson’s campaign websites close to the top, as well links to Warren’s, Sanders’ and Clintons’ campaign pages. It also generated links to the Federal Election Commission, a Time article on the 2023 presidential candidates not having “issues” pages, and something called “The Living Room Candidate,” a site that provides presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to the present, organized by year, type, and issue.
But the Media Research Center Study uses “clean computers” in their studies, meaning computers with no search history, no cookies, and therefore no influence on the search results due to previous use.
But Schneider says there’s more than enough bias to go around in Google Land. Nothing new, he said.
“We’ve done a number of these Google studies and every time, we find Google looks like it is a paid assassin for the Democratic Party,” Schneider said.
Executives at Google, which is by far the largest search engine at north of 85 percent dominance, has vehemently denied accusations of bias. But the Big Tech multinational corporation, with $280 billion in revenue last year, has long been criticized for bias, accused of algorithmical manipulation.
“Google has increasingly re-engineered and interfered with search results to a far greater degree than the company and its executives have acknowledged,” a 2019 Wall Street Journal investigation found.
“Those actions often come in response to pressure from businesses, outside interest groups and governments around the world. They have increased sharply since the 2016 election and the rise of online misinformation,” according to the Journal report. “Google’s evolving approach marks a shift from its founding philosophy of ‘organizing the world’s information,’ to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.”
Those concerns go more than a decade, and they used to be a lot more bi-partisan. In 2011, then-US. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), who was eventually forced to resign amid his conduct during the #MeToo movement, grilled Google execs for “fuzzy” explanations of the company’s methods.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), at the time “compared Google’s early business model to a company that owned a racetrack but then began owning horses,” Computer World reported in 2011.
Schneider said, just follow the money.
“We know Google lobbyists have spent more time in the Biden White House than just about any other lobbyists,” the free speech advocate said. “It has been the engine of the Democratic Party.”
As campaign finance tracker OpenSecrets reported, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., last year ramped up lobbying expenditures by nearly 50 percent, spending more than $13 million on federal skid-greasing. The lobbying has picked up significantly as the tech giant faces anti-trust lawsuits brought during the Trump presidency.
The Biden administration is just picking up where his old boss, former President Barack Obama, left off.
According to a 2016 investigation by the Intercept, between January 2009 and October 2015, Google staffers gathered at the White House on 427 separate occasions.
“All told, 182 White House employees and 169 Google employees attended the meetings, with participation from almost every domestic policy and national security player in the West Wing,” the news outlet reported.
Last week, a U.S, judge dismissed a Republican National Committee lawsuit against Google alleging its Gmail service filtered RNC emails to users’ spam folders.
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Calabretta, nominated to the court by Biden last year, ruled that it was a “close case,” but the RNC had not “sufficiently pled that Google acted in bad faith” in condemning emails to spam files.
In response to growing evidence of Big Tech communications platforms working with the Biden White House to censor conservatives, House Republicans earlier this year introduced the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act. It “prohibits Biden Administration officials and federal bureaucrats from using their authority or influence to promote censorship of speech or pressure social media companies to censor speech.”
The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. James Comer (R-KY-01), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05), chairwoman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH-04).
“The Biden Administration has eroded Americans’ First Amendment rights by bullying social media companies to censor certain views and news on their platforms,” Comer said in a statement. “To protect freedom of speech, our bill stops the federal government from pressuring social media companies to silence Americans expressing views online.”
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.