These days, more than ever, it’s best to keep informed as to what’s going on. During an election year, millions of residents in the United States turn to search engines to learn more about their candidate (or the candidate they don’t like).
Making an intelligent, informed decision can be tough when you only have mainstream media, candidate debates, and political advertisements to depend on. As a result, people depend highly on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing to deliver simple, straightforward results. When it comes to Hillary Clinton, however, it seems she’s gone to great length to protect her online reputation through Google.
The Altering of Terms
If you type any word or phrase into Google, whether you’re on your computer or mobile device, you will get instant suggestions. For example, typing in “how can I” brings up uncountable suggestions on how to complete DIY projects and similar results.
Because of Hillary’s email scandal, she’s been branded in the media as “Crooked Hillary,” a term so popular that it’s spread all over social media, mainstream media, and can easily be heard at your water cooler at work. However, if you type the phrase “crooked” into Google, there is no correlation with Hillary Clinton.
Because of the recent popularity of this term, fundamentally this result should be at least number two or number three on the list. Instead, you get results for crooked teeth and crooked trails, even though the term “Crooked Hillary” has been searched much more often as of late. It certainly does appear as if Google has adjusted their algorithm so that you can’t search well for negative results about Hillary Clinton.
A side-by-side comparison with Bing shows wildly different results, when you plug in different terms in the search box. For example, typing in “Hillary Clinton vin” in Google gives you suggestion of a list of Hillary Clinton vines available on the internet. Typing the same phrase into Bing brings up many results that are concerned with the death of Vince Foster. Similarly, typing in “Hillary Clinton un” gives you Hillary Clinton universal health care and Hillary Clinton university in Google, but in Bing, you’re directed to Hillary Clinton unlikable and Hillary Clinton untrustworthy.
The Email Scandal Itself
If you have followed Hillary’s email scandal at all, you know only some of the “hidden” emails have been released to the public and the press. What you may not know is that a majority of these semi-secure emails were sent through AOL and Gmail servers. As we speak, these emails are sitting on Google’s servers. A spokesman for Google and Gmail has declined to speak on the matter, but this is strange enough to make anyone wonder – if the State Department has not yet ordered the release of these emails, what could Google possibly be doing with them? At the very least, they are not secure. While this may or may not have ties to the reasons why negative Hillary searches are being muddled, it’s worth investigating.
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The Hiding of Terms
In addition to altering Google suggestions, it may appear that some Google searches associated with Hillary Clinton yield absolutely no results. If you search for information particular to the email scandal, you may or may not get results. If you do get results from Google, they are most likely going to be overly positive results in favor of Hillary Clinton, or nonthreatening results (for example, about Hillary’s speeches or her Twitter account). Popular search results for common terms associated with Hillary Clinton’s name, such as “Hillary Clinton crime” not only seem to be blocked from Google’s instant search feature, they don’t bring up relevant results when you actually get to the Google SERP page.
Checking Other Candidates
While there’s no doubt that something is fishy here, typing in terms associated with Donald Trump and his mistakes also brings up a hefty amount of nonthreatening results from Google. Google supporters are using this as evidence to claim that no search results, or instant search results were altered. However, this brings up several questions. Was this done after it was pointed out that Clinton results were misleading? Or is Google simply doing their job poorly?
There is a wealth of evidence to prove that Google has muddled some results when it comes to Hillary Clinton, tarnishing their online reputation for good. Was it intentional? Most likely. In a world where companies are owned and controlled by mass media outlets, it’s always a good idea to do your own research, but it’s tough when even the research is altered. For a comprehensive view of the candidates, perhaps it’s best to use all three major search engines.