Trump is helping the GOP ramp up its bullying campaign against tech companies.
Trump was up before the sun on Tuesday morning, lashing out at Google for "illegal" search results that supposedly direct consumers toward biased news outlets.
"Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD," Trump whined on Twitter. "Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?"
Aside from threatening to unleash the federal government on a private company because Trump doesn't like its product, the wild allegation against Google makes no sense.
As the Washington Post noted, "Google search results are affected not only by region but also by personal search history." That undercuts Trump's blanket claim about Google search resultes, and the idea that the tech giant has created some sort of elaborate, global scheme in order to hide all the good news about Trump.
More importantly, Trump appeared to be simply regurgitating a fact-free Fox segment about Google that ran Monday night. That in turn was based on a fact-free conservative media claim about unfair Google search results, insisting 96 percent of "Trump news" searches steer people towards "liberal" outlets, such as People magazine and CNBC.
The Google hysteria aired on Lou Dobbs' Fox Business show. "Google blatantly suppressing conservative media outlets from Americans searching for Trump on the site," he announced.
The lashing out at Google reflects the conservative movement's growing obsession with tech and social media companies, and the fevered paranoia that Republicans are being collectively slighted and "silenced" by the supposedly left-leaning enterprises.
On Monday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) rekindled the wild claim that Twitter was essentially making key Republicans invisible:
100 Senators and 435 Reps, only 4 get shadow banned: Gaetz, Meadows, Nunes, Jordan.
Twitter says just a glitch in their algorithm. Really??
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 27, 2018
“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good," Trump shouted on Twitter last month. "We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.”
That term "shadow banning" refers the long running online practice of reducing someone’s online presence so their posts are seen less often, which in turn means that person has less interaction with others.
But that's not what's happening to conservatives on Twitter.
Unfortunately, the right-wing bullying appears to be working. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently seemed to cave into the GOP pressure when he claimed his employees suffer from a liberal bias and it's imperative that the company compensate for that.
That kind of nervous backtracking among tech and social media companies is exactly what Trump wants, which is why he's leveling wild new charges against Google.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.