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Google employees discussed tweaking Search results to combat Trump's controversial travel ban: Report

Trump's controversial travel ban in 2017 was predominantly for Muslim countries.

  • Published: September 21, 2018 2:52 PM IST

Google employees reportedly discussed tweaking Google Search results to combat Trump administration’s travel ban last year. According to internal company emails obtained by WSJ, Google employees in January 2017 debated ways to “leverage” Google’s Search related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers, government agencies.

WSJ reported that the email from January 29 was after two days of Trump’s controversial travel ban that was predominantly targeted at Muslim countries. The email discussed tweaks in search functionality to combat what they considered to be “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Iran’, etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms ‘Mexico’, ‘Hispanic’, ‘Latino’, etc.”

Google though on Thursday said that “these emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented.”

“Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology – not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to CNET.

To remember, Google employees had protested against the Trump executive order on immigration in January 2017. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google co-Founder Sergey Brin, both are immigrants, and they had also raised voices over the Trump’s order during that time.

Last month only, President Donald Trump had tweeted that Google’s search results are “RIGGED,” and the company is “suppressing voices of Conservatives.” Last week, Breitbart published a leaked video of Sergey Brin addressing weekly “TGIF” meeting saying how he felt offended when Trump was elected as President.

  • Published Date: September 21, 2018 2:52 PM IST