13:32 GMT +323 March 2017
Live
    FILE - In this March 23, 2010, file photo, the Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels.

    Google Accused of Manipulating Search Results on Hillary Clinton’s Health

    © AP Photo/ Virginia Mayo, File
    US
    Get short URL
    203213287

    If you are looking for information on the hot topic of Hillary Clinton’s health you may want to use a search engine other than Google, as the giant has been accused of manipulating search results to favor the Democratic candidate.

    On Saturday, screenshots of users typing “Hillary Clinton’s he” into Google, Yahoo, and Bing went massively viral, as the contrast between what the sites then prompted as results varied greatly.

    Users searching on Google were met with suggestions including, “Hillary Clinton’s headquarters,” “Hillary Clinton’s health plan,” “Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan,” “Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan 1993,” and “Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan 2016.”

    Microsoft-owned Bing, on the other hand, provided results that more readily reflected the trending news topic. Suggestions included: “Hillary Clinton’s health,” “Hillary Clinton’s health issues,” “Hillary Clinton’s height and weight,” “Hillary Clinton’s health care plan,” and “Hillary Clinton’s health report.”

    On Yahoo, the results were even more focused on the current trending issue, with “Hillary Clinton’s health problems,” “Hillary Clinton’s health,”  “Hillary Clinton’s health issues,” “Hillary Clinton’s head injury,” “Hillary Clinton’s height and weight,” and “Hillary Clinton’s health records.”

    These irregularities prompted Twitter users to spring into action, trending the hashtag #HillaryClintonSearchTerms throughout the rest of the day.

    This is not the first time Google has been accused of attempting to manipulate the election by providing search results on Clinton that did not match those of other search engines.

    Last week, opponents of the former US Secretary of State discovered that Google is the only search engine where the term “Clinton’s body count” does not auto complete. The term is widely used to refer to a number of mysterious deaths and murders of people connected to the Clinton family.

    The difference in search engine results came to light shortly after New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo tweeted a suggestion that Google should censor “conspiracy theories” surrounding the candidate.

    Last year it was reported that Google has donated somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000 to the Clinton Foundation. No other company with a major search engine appears on the foundation’s list of donors.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has long referred to Google as Clinton’s “secret weapon.”

    Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, wrote last year in an article titled “Google Could Rig the 2016 Election,” that America’s next president could be eased into office by Google’s algorithm tweaks.

    ​“I’ve been doing experimental research for more than three and a half years now which shows that all Google has to do is show people search results that favor one candidate, in this case Hillary Clinton, higher in search results,” Epstein told Sputnik earlier this month. “That can easily shift 20 percent or more of undecided voters toward her — as a matter of fact up to 80 percent of people shift in some demographic groups.”

    Epstein calls this phenomenon the “Search Engine Manipulation Effect.” He explained that it is an extremely effective tactic, and that he has replicated it with more than 10,000 people, in 39 countries, and throughout three elections.

    “Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated,” he said.

    “There is no question about this possibility — the power that Google has to shift up to 25 percent of the national elections in the world without anyone knowing it is occurring — and without leaving a paper trail,” Epstein stated.

    Sputnik reached out to Google for comment and was directed to a June 2016 prepared statement on the autocomplete feature.

    “The autocomplete algorithm is designed to avoid completing a search for a person’s name with terms that are offensive or disparaging. We made this change a while ago following feedback that Autocomplete too often predicted offensive, hurtful or inappropriate queries about people. This filter operates according to the same rules no matter who the person is,” the statement reads.

    We asked Google whether the company believes that searches regarding the candidate’s health are “offensive or disparaging.” A spokeswoman declined to comment on specific search results.

    “It’s also important to keep in mind that Autocomplete predictions aren’t search results and don’t limit what you can search for. It’s a shortcut for those who are interested. You can still perform whatever search you want to, and of course, regardless of what you search for, we always strive to deliver the most relevant results from across the web,” the statement notes.

    When asked for comment specifically regarding Epstein’s research, the spokeswoman referred Sputnik to a counterargument to Epstein’s claims published in Politico by a Google executive.

    “There is absolutely no truth to Epstein’s hypothesis that Google could work secretly to influence election outcomes. Google has never ever re-ranked search results on any topic (including elections) to manipulate user sentiment. Moreover, we do not make any ranking tweaks that are specific to elections or political candidates. From the beginning, our approach to search has been to provide the most relevant answers and results to our users, and it would undermine people's trust in our results, and our company, if we were to change course,” Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google Inc., wrote on Politico.

    Singhal’s remarks do not attempt to counter Epstein’s research, insisting instead that everyone simply trust the search engine giant.

    “Just as any electoral system must be trusted to be considered valid, so too must our search results. We know that; it’s essential to who we are, and a necessary part of our success as company. So, as a result, we work very hard to earn and keep the trust of everyone who comes to our site looking for answers,” Singhal stated.

    Google declined to specifically address the difference in search results  regarding Hillary Clinton’s health.

    Related:

    Court Dismisses Google's Appeal of Russian Antimonopoly Service Decision
    The Invisible Hand: Can Google Actually Influence US Election Results?
    Google's Decided to Take on VR Trolls... For Your Safety Only
    Is Google Trying to Influence US Elections?
    Blame Google! Map Mishap Sends Misguided Motorists Straight Into Car-Free Venice
    Tags:
    Search Engine Manipulation Effect, Election, Bing, Yahoo, Google, Robert Epstein, Hillary Clinton
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      cast235
      They all manipulating EVERYTHING.. Try using all search engines and see what happens when you search for Sputnik News.
      In YAHOO, they add some propaganda on top.. And I checked all engines and programs.

      Search for Russian military.. After a video look. NAKED women. It's allowed because is teh state dept propaganda/ WE LOVE RUSSIA.. With guys dancing drunk , women defecating publicly showing their parts.
      The ANTI RUSSO PROPAGANDA is RAMPANT.

      What to do? Open a FACEBOOK like and END Facebook. Your kids are catched by CIA, and all intel in U.S!!!!
      I tried seeing ONE video on RT, a decent one, and when all searches popped up at end, NAKED WOMEN.
      Why?
      To FORCE verification on a news video!!!! They NASTY and they playing NASTY games.
    • avatar
      bubeefication
      What should we expect from a company that holds a monopoly? I switched to DuckDuckGo already when I heard Google Maps completely replaced Palestine with Israel.
    • Beady-eyed Insomniacin reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
      cast235, Umm - is it naked Russian women with guns and riding in tanks. Check what the history of searches are on your computer. If the computer is often used for searching out "naked women" - then it will often appear first in your searches or in associated advertising
      . Such is life with cyber marketing.
    • Jammy
      Google is far from alone in painting a false picture of the world and all the big US names are at it and working as a team to track and steel your data with more than a little help for back-door Bill gates and Microsoft that spys and uploads data from your machine.

      The likes of Firefox is helping them to and you can see this yourself by typeing "About:config" into the Url textbox and then doing a seach for Google because it pops up about twelth times.

      Googles super advance A.I will get to the stage where it knows that you want before you know it yourself and should be avoided at all costs including all the jave scripts they run on most web sites on the internet and that includes this site too.
    • avatar
      Jetsin reply tobubeefication(Show commentHide comment)
      bubeefication, The question everyone should ask is "what do you expect from rats (Google).
    • choticastile
      At last there's official recognition that Hillary Clinton is a sick woman. For weeks now its been in the news and not only on the so-called conspiracy sites ... its a reality.

      How can this be kept from the American public? -- is it because its a reality too, that their votes in supposedly the most democratic country in the world, truly amount to nothing?

      Is it because the US elections are run by an elite which does not include the real American people or as George Carlin, so aptly said: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”
    • RedBannerin reply tobubeefication(Show commentHide comment)
      bubeefication, Have used Google for years, now have been using Bing lately, but will try DuckDuckGo (as a matter fact have just installed it and appreciate the fact they state: "We don't track you". Which is already a positive thing). Thanks for the hint.
    • RedBannerin reply toJammy(Show commentHide comment)
      Jammy, "The likes of Firefox is helping them too"

      What browser would you advise? Apart from Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera, I don't know of many others out there.

      Thanks.
    • RedBanner
      As for Killary health condition, no need to use Google, or other search engines for that, just type it on YT, and you'll get thousands of results.

      Now, after we separate the wheat from the chaff, there seem to exist enough evidence that she is indeed sick. How serious? I wouldn't know, I'm no medical doctor. But according to a few interviews available on YT, her health seems to be deteriorating fast. Maybe the World will be lucky and she will get some serious strike incapacitating her to go to the polls in November.
      If it doesn't happen before the elections, and IF she is elected the next POTUS, I really fear for the survival of this planet and all life on it!
      If she is indeed terminally ill, and being the malevolent, evil being she is, it only makes her even more dangerous, kind of: "I go, but I won't die alone... You're all going with me...". Scary indeed!

      Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has an excellent article, published just a few days ago, about the hard choices the American people will have to make in November, "Trump vs Hillary: A Summation". Recommended!
    • avatar
      seanrkearney
      Guess what Google I don't have to use your search engine and nor do other people! Do the right thing or watch people like myself move to other options like Yahoo and IXQuick.
    • avatar
      seanrkearneyin reply toRedBanner(Show commentHide comment)
      RedBanner, Try Vivaldi. It lets you configure your own choice own choice of search engine. It set it up to use IXQuick.
    • Adrienne Adonis
      It doesn't matter if Google obviously suppresses Hillarys health issues. People already know she is a sick woman and unfit to become president. Look at her ridiculous facial expressions she makes in public ..... She looks retarted with her mouth open , eyes wide open and tilting her head in one direction.......
    • RedBannerin reply toseanrkearney(Show commentHide comment)
      seanrkearney, Thanks!
      Will give both a try. As long as they work for PC (not Mac I mean) and with Windows7.
    • avatar
      jas
      Sputnik, thank you very much for this article. Google results have been miserable lately, clearly manipulated f r certain agendas. Try searching for "open source photo editor for windows 10" on google. The try it on other search engines. A huge difference.
    Show new comments (0)