Several months ago Google quietly released a 32 page white paper titled “How Google Fights Disinformation.” This sound good. The problem is that Google is a decidedly left wing outfit. They consider things like skepticism of climate alarmism, and conservative views generally, to be disinformation, as liberals often claim.
The white paper goes into some detail as to how Google’s search and news algorithms operate, in order to suppress what Google considers disinformation. It is clear that these algorithms will favor liberal content when displaying search results.
Generally speaking the algorithms rank and present search results based on the use of so-called “authoritative sources.” The problem is that these sources are mostly mainstream media, which are almost entirely liberal.
Google’s algorithmic definition of authoritative makes the liberals the voice of authority. Bigger is better and the liberals have the biggest news outlets. The algorithms are very complex but the basic idea is that the more other websites link to you, the greater your authority.
It is like saying that a newspaper with more subscribers is more trustworthy than one with somewhat fewer subscribers. This actually makes no sense but that is how it works. It is also true in domains other than news. Popularity is not authority but that is how the algorithm sees it.
This explains why the first page of search results for breaking news almost always consist of links to liberal outlets. There is absolutely no balance with conservative news sources. Given that roughly half of Americans are conservatives, Google’s liberal news bias is truly reprehensible.
When it comes to skepticism of climate alarmism, I documented an extreme case of this bias some time ago. My CFACT article was titled “Google’s global warming search bias.”
In this case I did individual searches on prominent skeptics of alarmism. Google’s authoritative source turned out to be an obscure alarmist website called DeSmogBlog. Their claim to fame was having nasty negative dossiers on a lot of skeptics. I am proud to say they have one on me.
In each search two things happened in the first page of results. First was a link to that skeptic’s dossier, even though it was almost a decade old. Sometimes this was the first entry in the search results. Second, roughly half of the results were negative attacks. This may not now be surprising since the liberal press often attacks us skeptics.
Searching on comparable prominent alarmists yielded nothing but praise. Again not surprising, since Google’s liberal authoritative sources love alarmists.
The bias against skeptics in this algorithm is breathtaking. This bias also extends to the climate change debate itself. Search results on climate issues are dominated by alarmist content.
In fact climate change may well get special algorithmic attention. Goggle has a category of webpages hyperbolically called “Your Money or Your Life.” These require even greater authoritative control in searches.
Pages addressing government policy issue fall under this category and climate change is arguable the world’s biggest policy issue today. Google says that for these pages they downgrade those containing “demonstrably inaccurate content or debunked conspiracy theories.” This is just how alarmists describe skepticism. They do not explain how the algorithm makes these intrinsically subjective determinations.
Google’s authority based search algorithm is rigged to favor liberal content. This will be true for virtually all conservative content. It may be especially true for the climate change debate. This deep liberal bias is fundamentally wrong, given Google’s central role in American life.