Monday, October 24, 2016 by Don Wrightman
Emails released by Wikileaks from 2014 show exchanges between Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The exchanges facilitated meetings between Schmitt and several key Clinton players. Podesta wrote to Schmidt on April 3, 2014, saying he would like him to speak with Robby Mook, now Clinton’s campaign manager, and Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton aide.
Schmitt also funds Groundwork, a data company that provides services to the Clinton campaign. Filings show Hillary Clinton’s campaign has already paid Groundwork almost $600,000 for “technology services”. Groundwork’s website only displays a logo and does not provide any information on it’s data services.
Schmitt landed himself in hot water earlier in the year when Google’s search engine was accused of manipulating searches in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. The allegations stemmed when a group called SourceFed released video showcasing Google’s autocomplete features contrast to other major search engines. It was altering searches to paint Clinton in a more favorable light.
The findings by SourceFed, based on the input “Hillary Clinton cri,” showed that Google would suggest crisis, crime reform and crime bill 1994. Bing and Yahoo would complete the same input to criminal charges, crimes and criminal. However Donald Trump did not receive the same treatment. For the input “Donald Trump rac” all 3 major search engines finished it off with racist.
A statement sent to the Washington Free Beacon from Becca Rutkoff, a member of Google’s global communications and public affairs team, in which accusations of manipulating search results was denied.
“The autocomplete algorithm is designed to avoid completing a search for a person’s name with terms that are offensive or disparaging,” the statement reads. “We made this change a while ago following feedback that Autocomplete too often predicted offensive, hurtful or inappropriate queries about people. This filter operates according to the same rules no matter who the person is, as you can see in some examples here.”
“Autocomplete isn’t an exact science, and the output of the prediction algorithms changes frequently,” it continues. “Predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity and freshness of search terms. Given that search activity varies, the terms that appears in Autocomplete for you may change over time”
According to psychologist Robert Epstein, “Google is manipulating search results related to Hillary Clinton that may ‘shift as many as 3 million votes’ in the upcoming presidential election.”