21 September 2019

Trump says Google manipulated 2016 vote; Clinton hits back

KONFRONTASI - Former US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has rejected a claim by President Donald Trump that Google changed the outcome of their 2016 White House battle by manipulating millions of votes in her favor.

"Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!" Trump said in a tweet on Monday.

 

Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch

 
 

The remarks prompted Clinton to point out that the report Trump was referencing used discredited methodology and had been "debunked" long before.

"The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters," Clinton tweeted. "For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted."

The former First Lady referred Trump to Special counsel Robert Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, which ended up indicting 34 people, including six Trump associates.

Trump's tweet was based on a study by Robert Epstein, a psychologist with the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, a group based in Vista, California.

In a recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Epstein said that based on his research, “biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton.”

The study he was citing collected thousands of search engine results collected in the run-up to the 2016 election and concluded that a phenomenon called the “Search Engine Manipulation Effect” did affect the votes.

The problem with the study, according to its critics, is that it analyzed a relatively small sample size 95 different voters only 21 of whom he said were undecided.

In a statement on Monday, a Google spokesperson dismissed Epstein's claim.

"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." 

Trump has accused largest American tech companies of routinely censoring conservative voices.

The claim come as several high-profile conservative media figures have been deplatformed by Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites on the grounds of violating their rules.

The companies vehemently deny allegations that that politics plays any role in their content moderation.

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