Since President Donald Trump proclaimed his presidential bid back in 2016, the number of his opponents seems to bulge endlessly, right from politicians all the way to celebrities and media outlet. However, on Tuesday, the list saw a rare addition. This round it was Google. President Trump furiously touted the claim on Twitter. He noted that the leading search firm had rigged its search upshots by shutting out rightwing media and redirecting users to information from ‘fake news,’ from leftwing media. Now, the question is, does Trump have a point? Are Google’s search results politically biased? If indeed he is right and the results are biased, how will we exactly know? The primary role of social media firms like Twitter and Facebook, especially in politics, has been immensely debated since the results of the 2016 presidential election.
The same conversations have continued until 2018. Now that the midterm elections are to be happening in November, the arguments on Facebook and Twitter’s role in politics has been heightened. Facebook had suffered extreme scrutiny where the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to testify in the US Congress. The other tech firms like Google, Yahoo and other search engines remained comparatively unscathed. This move is conceivably unsurprising. At first peep, various search engine firms like Google might be diverse from social or news media, which is a simple way for users to acquire existing content.
This manner of thinking about search results is not right. Latest studies have suggested that search firms, rather than issuing a neutral means to gather information may truly play a significant role in shaping up public opinions especially on political candidates and issues. Another research has argued that search results have the powers to affect the results of close elections. An example of a study that was titled as ‘Google we Trust’ heavily prioritized the first page of the search results. It also did the same for the other page and then went on to do so regardless of when researchers upturned the order of the definite results. Search results can possess the same type of impact on the people as stories are reported by the opinions shared on various social platforms or by news outlets. In this argument, Search results should somewhat be considered as a form of media. If users think about social media, then Google will be trapped in the fray.