Earlier I reported on a video that showed pretty solid evidence that Google, the most used search engine in the west, was manipulating its auto-fill function in the search bar to weed out any negative results about Hillary Clinton. If tried on the other candidates, negative results came up just fine, but Clinton was the exception.
Now, Google has answered the accusation that its acting on bias, and claiming it’s doing no such thing. When asked by the Washington Examiner as the truth of the claim, Google had this answer:
“Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause,” a company spokesman said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name.”
Google insisted its algorithm is geared toward fairness. “Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works,” the spokesman said.
If this is true, then it’s hard to square this claim when other candidates – such as Trump or Sanders – still have auto-complete fill in the blanks that show “offensive” and “disparaging” query. “Donald Trump racist,” is clearly a more offensive term than “Hillary Clinton indictment.”
So, despite Google’s claim that it’s not doing anything so unethical as manipulating search queries, the evidence says otherwise. Whatever it considers “offensive,” and “fairness” seems to whatever definition it needs it to be.