How To Measure The Liberal Bias In Google News

Posted on Sun 08/25/2019 by

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By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

This is the latest in my investigation of Google bias against skeptics and conservatives. President Trump recently held a summit meeting on this bias.  Left wing critics of the President say there is no hard evidence, but it is not hard to find.

I already documented a glaring case, where Google uses DeSmogBlog’s hit list of climate change skeptics. Searching on each skeptic yields a page half full of attack links, always including one to DeSmogBlog, which is never less than fifth and is sometimes first.

Another glaring example, which is always there and easy to see, is the news. Google has a separate news search feature. According to their white paper — “How we fight disinformation” — these news searches get special algorithmic treatment. What this means is that almost all of the links returned on the first page are to liberal news sources.

I did a number of tests and this bias stands out like a very sore thumb. The simplest version of the first news page has just ten links. In no case did I get more than one link to a conservative news source. Sometimes I got none.

It is also common for one or two liberal sources to appear twice, so there are not even ten different sources. In some cases there are only eight.

For example I did a news search on “Biden 2020,” which Google suggested when I typed in “Biden.” Here are the top ten source links I got:

Sources for “Biden 2020” top ten search results, in order of listing:

1. CNN

2. The New York Times

3. Vice

4. Politico

5. CNN

6. Fortune

7. Vox

8. Fox News

9. The Hill

10. Politico

Not a lot of conservative content here, just good old Fox News in eighth position. Of course conservative content would not be friendly, but if Google can post attacks on skeptics, why not on Democrats?

Given the duplication of sources, the conservative content is one link in eight or about 12%. This is as high as it gets. About a third of my sample cases had no conservative sources or zero percent. The average is around 7%, which measures the dramatic Google bias in favor of liberal sources.

The usual liberal suspects are usually there in the various searches. In my cases these are CNN, NYT, WashPo, LA Times, Vox, Politico and The Hill, because I chose political topics. In British news the Guardian and BBC are prominent. There are also lots of smaller liberal sources that appear less frequently.

The lonely conservative sources are pretty tepid, like Fox News and the Washington Examiner. In no case did I get a real right wing source, like the Daily Caller for instance, or Brietbart. It just does not happen and the algorithm clearly knows that, as does Google.

I urge people to do their own Google news searches to see this bias in action. I do not have the means to do, log and publish a hundred or more searches, but I am sure the results would be telling.

Perhaps someone can start collecting these simple searches and measures. Then the pattern of liberal bias would be incontestable, proving the President right, as he surely is. The glaring bias toward liberal news sources is easily measured.

David Wojick contributes Posts at the CFACT site. He is a journalist and policy analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy.

Read more excellent articles at CFACT  http://www.cfact.org/

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