Donald Trump has accused Google of "rigging" search results – giving greater prominence to negative stories about him while suppressing positive articles from conservative news organisations.

In a tweet written at 5.24am on Tuesday morning (10.24am UK time), the US president claimed search results for "Trump news" only showed reports from "Fake New [sic] Media", with his arch nemesis CNN featuring heavily.

Mr Trump went on to accuse the tech giant of "controlling what we can and cannot see" and warned it was a "very serious situation" which "will be addressed".

He also claimed that 96% of Google results were from the "National Left-Wing Media", adding this was "very dangerous".

This figure seems to have been broadcast on the Lou Dobbs Tonight programme, a show on the Trump-friendly Fox Business Network, the evening before the president tweeted.

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

….results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018

Google is immensely secretive about how it ranks search results and news stories, and is attempting to personalise its Google News service towards its users' preferences.

According to Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at the Media Matters foundation, the data that the Fox show used counts The New York Times, Bloomberg and the BBC as left-wing news sources.

The US cable channel CNN is often criticised by the president for what he perceives as its bias against him.

Earlier this month, nearly 350 news organisations came together to warn Donald Trump against his "fake news" rhetoric with a coordinated series of editorials.

The publisher of The New York Times, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, said in July that he had warned Donald Trump his attacks on the media were "putting lives at risk".

Those warnings followed the deaths of five journalists who were killed in a shooting at The Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland in June.

Google responded in a statement: "When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds.

"Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology.

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"Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users' queries.

"We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment."

Original Article

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