On Tuesday, the Daily Caller reported that Google — the largest search engine on the planet — is now displaying a somewhat dubious “fact-check” feature that appears to target only conservative sites.
Tech and law reporter Eric Lieberman said the feature doesn’t appear for any prominent liberal site.
Lieberman further said that not only does the feature seem to target conservative sites, it is often incorrect:
When searching for a media outlet that leans right, like The Daily Caller (TheDC), Google gives users details on the sidebar, including what topics the site typically writes about, as well as a section titled “Reviewed Claims.”
Vox, and other left-wing outlets and blogs like Gizmodo, are not given the same fact-check treatment. When searching their names, a “Topics they write about” section appears, but there are no “Reviewed Claims.”
In fact, a review of mainstream outlets, as well as other outlets associated with liberal and conservative audiences, shows that only conservative sites feature the highly misleading, subjective analysis. Several conservative-leaning outlets like TheDC are “vetted,” while equally partisan sites like Vox, ThinkProgress, Slate, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Salon, Vice and Mother Jones are spared.
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According to Lieberman, Occupy Democrats seems to be the only prominent liberal site to get the “fact-check” treatment while big media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times are lauded for their awards.
In one case, Lieberman said, the fact-checking feature said a Daily Caller article claimed that special Counsel Robert Mueller is hiring people that “are all Hillary Clinton supporters.” But, he added, that statement is misleading, if not false, since the article makes no such claim.
“Their cited language doesn’t even appear in the article. Worse yet, there was no language trying to make it seem that the investigation into the Trump administration and Russia is entirely comprised of Clinton donors. The story simply contained the news: Mueller hired a Hillary Clinton donor to aid the investigation into President Donald Trump,” Lieberman explained.
“Still,” Lieberman further said, “the Washington Post gave the claim, which came from Trump himself, its official ‘Three Pinocchios’ rating. The method applies to several other checks. Claims concocted or adulterated by someone outside the TheDC are attributed to TheDC, in what appears to be a feature that only applies to conservative sites.”
Lieberman added: “Examples of such misattribution and misrepresentation are aplenty.”
Overall, he concluded, “such inclusion embodies Google’s fact-checking services, which, as many presciently feared, are biased, if not also downright libelous.”
Alex Griswold, a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon, said on Twitter that he put this to the test:
fwiw I googled first three liberal sites I thought should be included (Occupy Democrats, Addicting Info and Right wing watch) and 2 of 3 were included. Addicting Info was not. Whole system is still dumb and they should probably removed it.
— Elliott Schwartz (@elliosch) January 9, 2018
Syndicated columnist David Harsanyi added:
Meanwhile, he said, the left wing Vox doesn’t have a single claim against it.
“While the sites being given the ‘reviewed claims’ treatment aren’t exclusively conservative sites, it’s pretty clear that Google has an overwhelmingly anti-conservative bias,” Twitchy said.
It’s not the first time Google has been accused of anti-conservative bias as we reported here.
Guy Benson wondered:
And of course they also use left-leaning Politifact as an arbiter of “truth” in this slanted, Orwellian racket. I’m a Google user, but I’m beginning to wonder if the company wants the business of anyone who remotely thinks like me. https://t.co/pIJVQyFKRT
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 9, 2018
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