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!”
The allegation that Google and other major online gateways to content are censoring or otherwise down-ranking conservative viewpoints is not new, and the specific allegation from Dr. Robert Epstein that Google “manipulated” millions of voters into supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 has been widely circulated and generally dismissed as based on an unfounded conspiracy theory. The question gets somewhat more complicated with respect to efforts by media organizations to reduce the spread of blatantly factually inaccurate information on their platform. If you believe sincerely, for example, that powerful Democrats ran a pedophile ring out of a Washington, D.C. pizza joint, Google and Facebook suppressing “Pizzagate” stories looks like censorship. To everybody else, it’s an overdue step in the right direction.
Where’s the line between appropriate and necessary fake news prevention, and censorship? We’ll leave that for readers to argue–as long as everybody’s clear that the President of the United States has no earthly idea, and that’s a problem no matter whose side you’re on.