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Donald Trump accuses Google of suppressing negative news about Hillary Clinton

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher).
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher).

Donald Trump went after Google Wednesday during a campaign rally in Wisconsin, accusing the search engine giant of suppressing bad news stories about Hillary Clinton.

“The Google poll has us leading Hillary by two points nationwide,” Trump said.“And that’s despite the fact that Google’s search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton, how about that? How about that?”

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The Republican presidential candidate did not elaborate on what kind of stories he was referring to, nor did he cite a source to back up his claim. However, this isn’t the first time Google’s search results have been scrutinized.

Earlier this month Sputnik News, a Russian state-owned news agency, published a report claiming Google showed bias towards Clinton in its search results. In August, the news agency ran a similar story after picking up on social media reports that Google showed different search results than Microsoft’s Bing search engine when users searched for information on Clinton’s health.

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In June, a viral video titled “Did Google Manipulate Search for Hillary” also alleged Google’s Autocomplete feature censored negative search terms about Clinton. For example, the video alleged a Google search for “Hillary Clinton crime” showed results for “Hillary Clinton crime reform” and “Hillary Clinton crime bill 1994.” Whereas the same search on Yahoo search retried results like “Hillary Clinton criminal charges” and “Hillary Clinton crimes.”

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Global News contacted Google regarding Trump’s comments, however, the company declined to comment.

But Google has refuted these claims a number of times in the past.

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After that viral video was released, Google’s vice president of search Tamar Yehoshua released a blog post explaining how the Autocomplete feature works, noting that the feature is designed to avoid completing searches with results that are “offensive or disparaging.”

“This filter operates according to the same rules no matter who the person is,” read the blog post.

The company also noted that results are produced based on a number of factors including the “popularity and freshness” of search terms.

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In a statement to The Washington Times, Google outright denied allegations that the feature favours any candidate or cause.

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“More generally, our autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms.”

In the past, Trump has suggested that he fears the general election will be rigged and that the Democrats had fixed their primary system so Clinton could defeat Bernie Sanders.

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