Google is disputing President Trump’s insinuation that the company failed to promote the live stream for his State of the Union address in the same way it did for President Barack Obama.
Trump posted this video on Twitter this week as part of his broader assertion that Google is biased against conservatives. The video appears to show that Google promoted Obama’s State of the Union addresses throughout his presidency but stopped doing so when Trump took office.
Google said in a statement shared with GeekWire and first obtained by BuzzFeed News: “On January 30 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage. We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.”
The video shows links to Obama’s State of the Union that disappear in 2017 when Trump took office. But the missing link in 2017 would have directed to Trump’s first address to Congress, not his first State of the Union the following year. Google doesn’t typically promote first Congressional addresses and did not do so for Obama’s in 2009, the company said.
Google used an online archive tool to show that it promoted both Trump’s and Obama’s State of the Union addresses after their first full years in office. Screenshots from Reddit back up Google’s defense. An outdated Google logo also suggests that the video is inaccurate. Google changed its logo in 2015 but the 2016 slide of the video shows the prior version of the logo.
This screenshot from Internet Archive shows a link to Trump’s State of the Union in 2018:
Social media sites have come under fire for a number of issues over the past few years. Foreign governments learned to use sites like Facebook and Twitter to foment discord during elections. False information can spread quickly on social media despite fact-checking efforts. These companies have struggled to curb abuse. And investigations revealed targeted advertising can lead to discriminatory practices. But there is little evidence that tech companies, like Google, censor conservative voices or ideas.
Nevertheless, Trump has taken to social media sites to demand social media sites stop censoring voices like his. The president has been tweeting about a “rigged” search results on Google and suggested Facebook and Twitter have a liberal bias in comments to reporters Tuesday afternoon.