Trump alleges Google manipulated voters against him
President Trump alleged Monday that Google manipulated millions of voters into supporting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, saying the company “should be sued” in his latest attack on the tech giant.
The president in a tweet referenced the work of a controversial psychologist who has claimed to have found evidence that Google’s search algorithms have been influencing voters.
“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” Trump wrote. “This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!”
What he’s referencing: Trump appears to be referring to the work of Robert Epstein, a researcher with a group based in Vista, Calif., called the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. Epstein testified in a Senate hearing in June about what he calls the “Search Engine Manipulation Effect” and claimed that his research shows Google’s search results pushed at least 2.6 million people to vote for Clinton in 2016.
About that study…: Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked about Epstein’s work last year when he testified before a House panel and said the company had investigated it and pointed to issues with the study’s methodology.
In a statement on Monday, a Google spokesperson called Epstein’s claim “debunked,” pointing out that it has been circulating for three years.
“This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016,” the spokesperson said. “As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
“Our goal is to always provide people with access to high quality, relevant information for their queries, without regard to political viewpoint,” they added.
Trump’s latest attack comes as he is rehashing unfounded allegations of massive voter fraud in the 2016 election.