I bring news.
Not all news is real.
Some of it is fake.
I bring good news.
Finally, finally the president is on to it.
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This morning, President Donald Trump took to the finest repository of pure, true news -- Twitter -- to offer:
Google search results for "Trump News" shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News 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 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!
It appears there are two sorts of media acceptable to the president: "Republican/Conservative Media" and "Fair Media."
Does this mean Republican/Conservative Media can be unfair, but still be acceptable, while, um, "National Left-Wing Media" can't? Even if it's being fair?
To be fair, Google has, on occasion, been accused of manipulating search results (by Yelp, for example).
Can it be, though, all those lefties at Google are deliberately hiding pro-Trump news in order to twist the minds of the meek and malleable?
Also: Trump campaign wants answers on Facebook and Twitter 'political bias' CNET
A Google spokesperson offered me this 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. 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.
Of course, no one knows how these algorithms work. And Google's definition of "relevant" is also somewhat nebulous. Who's to decide what's relevant?
So, I tried to do what the president (claims he) did and searched for "Trump News."
What Google thought was relevant to me was, first and foremost, the headline: Tiger Woods' 'respect the office' statement about Trump blasted by ESPN host Max Kellerman.
Did Google somehow know I play golf, occasionally watch ESPN, and was about to write about Trump? Uncanny.
Oh, and the headline was from renowned peddler of never fake, always fair, and frightfully balanced information known as Fox News.
Does Google think I'm a rabid Republican? Does it believe my love for sports supersedes any (macabre) fascination I have for politics?
I can see why the president is worried.
Also: Why technology alone won't save us from fake news TechRepublic
The always fake, never fair, and entirely unbalanced CNN tells me the president discovered this alleged Google bias, courtesy of PJ Media. Some might take one look and conclude this is a site that regards all media -- other than the approved Republican/Conservative sort -- as heinous left-wing cabals of conspiracy.
We're in a terrible pickle, then.
We can neither trust anything nor anyone. I'm even tempted to get my eyes tested more regularly, given some of the information relayed to me on the web.
I want to trust Google, because, somewhere deep inside, I fear it knows me best. After all, I suspect it spies on me the most.
I want to trust the president, too. Yet the, um, National Left-Wing Washington Post says he made 3,251 false or misleading statements in 497 days.
I'm left with but one option. I have to consider the source.
Also: Google Alphabet's Schmidt: Here's why we can't stop fake news
If I want Republican/Conservative news and thought, I know where to go.
If I want National Left-Wing Media, I know where to go, too.
As for fair, that's something I have to let my own mind decide.
Every day in online news is like election day. We choose.
Sometimes, we get it right. And sometimes, boy, do we get it wrong.
Hardware is hard: The tech products that fooled or failed us
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