Donald Trump thinks Google is suppressing negative search results about his opponent — a conspiracy theory that Google refuted in June.
“A new post-debate poll, the Google poll, has us leading Hillary Clinton by two points nationwide and that’s despite the fact that Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton. How about that.”
The claim likely stems from an internet rumour from June that Google was hiding search results that would paint Hillary Clinton in a bad light. At the time, a viral video created by SourceFed showed several autocomplete search results for “Hillary Clinton.” One of the examples showed autocomplete results for “Hillary Clinton cri” that included “Hillary Clinton crime reform,” “Hillary Clinton crisis,” and “Hillary Clinton crime bill 1994,” but not “Hillary Clinton criminal.” The latter result was the first listed on other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
According to the Washington Post’s Philip Bump, the claim was resurfaced this month thanks to a piece published by Russian media organisation Sputnik News, which claims to prove the theory is accurate.
But Google emphatically shut down the autocomplete rumour in June. A statement provided by a company spokesperson in June reads:
Google Autocomplete does not favour any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works. Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name. More generally, our autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms.
Business Insider reached out to Google for an updated comment and will update this post if we hear back.