Donald Trump is considering new regulations on Google’s search engine to address his concern that it turns up too many stories that are critical of him, his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Tuesday.
Kudlow, the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, told reporters that the administration is “taking a look” at federal regulations for Google.
He spoke after Trump, in a tweet, accused Google’s search engine of being “rigged.” The president also expressed frustration on Twitter that when Americans type “Trump News” into the search engine, it generates mostly negative news about him while conservative media is “shut out.”
Trump later elaborated on those comments while speaking in the Oval Office, saying that Google was “taking advantage” of people. He also attacked Twitter and Facebook as unfair but did not offer specifics about his concerns.
“I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful,” Trump said.
Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.
Google said in a statement that its search engine is not designed with the intent of promoting a political ideology but is instead aimed at generating “high-quality content” in response to user queries.
Computer algorithms determine what search results people are shown, drawing from a large number of complex and largely secret set of signals, such as where that person is located, what that person has searched for in the past and what that person has clicked on.
Google keeps those signals under wraps to keep everyone, from big brands to bad actors, from gaming the system. That does not stop people from trying. An entire cottage industry called search engine optimization helps websites get better rankings in search results to drive more traffic.
“Search is not used to set a political agenda, and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” said Riva Sciuto, a Google spokeswoman. “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”