President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that Google did not promote his State of the Union address as it did for his predecessor Barack Obama, a claim that has been refuted by the company.
“#StoptheBias,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, along with a video clip that purported to show the search engine’s homepage featuring links to Obama’s speeches, but not his.
In a statement to Buzzfeed News, Google refuted the allegation and said the company did, in fact, highlight Trump’s first State of the Union address in 2018. It did not promote his first address to Congress in February 2018, however, as it also did not do for previous presidents.
“On January 30, 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage,” a Google spokesperson told Buzzfeed News. “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.”
A cursory search of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine produces the Google homepage with a link to watch Trump’s address on YouTube.
On Tuesday, Trump claimed that Google News results were “rigged” in order to elevate critical coverage and “shut out” conservative media. “This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” Trump warned. Google responded that its news search results were indexed according to relevance.
“We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment,” Google said in a statement.