Research has shown that Google has a habit of downranking conservative news in the search rankings. Now The Daily Caller has proof of employees wanting to do so.
The Daily Caller published leaked emails from Google on November 30, which singled out the Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” that should be downranked on Google Search. A Google engineer, Scott Byer, wrote, “How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed.”
He also wanted Google to plan for the election in 2020, saying, “Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years — demographics will be on our side.”
Other Google employees chimed in with concern that by measuring the news, other sources could be marked as illegitimate as well. One engineer wrote that by marking conservative news as “opinion blogs,” Google would be opening the door to having MSNBC marked as an opinion blog. “MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated/less deplorable/closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” wrote engineer Uri Dekel.
Byer argued that Breitbart wasn’t just opinion, but also fake news: “Too many times, Breitbart is just echoing a demonstrably made up story.” No examples were cited, however. It was in this exchange that plans were made for the ill-fated Google fact-check bar below news outlets’ information bars.
Vice president of engineering David Besbris argued against the attack, saying, “We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone.”
A Google spokesperson told the Caller that the leaked conversation “did not lead to manipulation of search results for political purposes.” The person also said, “Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology. Our processes and policies do not allow for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideology.
Leaked emails and videos from Google, published at Breitbart, have also indicated that employees were trying to help fix the Latino vote in the 2016 presidential election. Employees have also clamored for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to be censored.