WASHINGTON — Google has refuted President Donald Trump’s claim that the tech giant showed bias in the way that they promoted his State of the Union address versus his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Trump tweeted a video earlier in the day with screenshots of Google homepage promotions for Obama’s State of the Union addresses in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, but no promotion for Trump’s 2017 address to a joint session of Congress or his State of the Union speech this year.
A Google spokesperson, however, said they did highlight a livestream of the Trump speech on its homepage on Jan. 30.
“We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.”
Trump accompanied his tweet with the hashtag #stopthebias, as he tries to garner social media support for the idea that major tech platforms stifle conservative views. He again told reporters that he thinks that Google and Facebook treat reporters unfairly.
“You know what we want? Not regulation … fairness,” he said, according to a pool report.
Trump tweeted an attack at Google on Tuesday, claiming that its search results were “rigged” and that their actions should be “illegal.” His chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters later in the day that they would be taking a look at regulations.
Legal scholars say search functions are protected by the First Amendment, so it’s unclear what steps Trump could even take. His statement on Wednesday suggested that he was criticizing tech platforms in the same way that he has targeted the news media — attacks that date to the start of his presidential campaign.
, the president and CEO of the Internet Association, told CNBC on Wednesday that, “it’s clear that the
platforms are not politically biased and certainly don’t have bias towards conservatives. If you look at the
evidence and you look at how different candidates and campaigns and individuals have used all of these platforms other the
last few years in particular, it’s been a great way for conservatives to get their voice out.”
Beckerman noted that he is a conservative and has spent years working on Republican campaigns.
“The political views of employees [do] not translate to the way the platforms operate and the experience that individuals across the country and around the world have on the platforms,” he said. “It’s certainly not in the business interests to pick one political party or one ideology over another. That’s not something that’s happening on the platforms.”