Google's Media Bias: Study Shows Tech Giant Favors Left-Wing Sites
Researchers from Northwestern University reveal bias over right leaning sites
An algorithm has detected that search giant Google favors left-leaning sites like CNN and The New York Times over others, according to a new study.
Researchers from Northwestern University compiled data which revealed the search engine promoted liberal sites over others in November 2017.
Moreover, within the 6,302 articles that appeared in Google's 'top stories,' over 10 percent were CNN.
Coming in second was The New York Times, which accounted for 6.5 percent of articles.
In third place was The Washington Post with 5.6 percent.
But Fox News, which is the most right-wing news outlet in the establishment media, accounted for just three percent.
Researchers found that sites like CNN saw a 24 percent bump in traffic simply because of Google promoting them in its featured 'Top Stories' box.
In order, Google's most featured sources were as follows:
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- Fox News
- USA Today
- LA Times
- The Guardian
- ABC News
- CBS News
- NBC News
- Huffington Post
- The Verge
- Al Jazeera
- The Hill
For some stories, there was a lack of sources but a search for Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, found stories from 38 sources.
But despite the overabundance of sources, 75 percent of the promoted stories about Tillerson came from The New York Times and CNN, according to the researchers.
The data also found that although left-leaning sites produced more articles on any given subject, over twice the amount of that on the right) Google's Top Stories selection seemed to be the catalyst.
"In Google Top Stories, that ratio was 3.2, indicating that the curation algorithm was slightly magnifying the left-leaning skew," Researcher Nicholas Diakopoulos, writes in The Columbia Journalism Review.
The problem with search engine and social media bias has been the subject of much debate over the past few years but became more apparent in the 2016 election.
In March, another research study revealed that Google had biased search results that impacted the 2018 midterm elections and possibly costing Republicans three congressional districts.
Psychologist and search engine expert Dr. Robert Epstein revealed that tens of thousands of votes were pushed towards the Democrats in three key congressional races as a result of Google's built-in bias.
Epstein and a team at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT), analyzed Google searches relating to three highly competing congressional races in Southern California.
Another study in 2016 showed that biased Google results pushed votes to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.