On Sunday morning, Donald Trump returned to one of his all-time favorite topics: the dishonest media. This time, he implicated Twitter, Facebook and Google in a conspiracy, tweeting that the sites are “burying” FBI director James Comey’s Friday announcement about new emails that may be linked to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2016
Trump’s claims aren’t new. Indeed, the GOP front-runner has long asserted that mainstream news networks are biased and that the media is part of a broad conspiracy against his candidacy. In the latest iteration on Sunday morning, he simply added the tech giants to the growing group of outside interests vying to “rig” the election against him.
This election is being rigged by the media pushing false and unsubstantiated charges, and outright lies, in order to elect Crooked Hillary!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2016
Trump has previously promoted debunked conspiracy theories about Google’s alleged suppression of news: Last month, he claimed that Google was “suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton.” Those accusations were based on a viral video that suggested the search engine was manipulating its results to favor Hillary Clinton — a claim that was swiftly debunked by news outlets, search engine optimization specialists, and Google itself.
“Google autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause,” a company spokeswoman told CNN. “Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how autocomplete works.”
Moreover, as a number of commentators pointed out, Google and Facebook both use algorithms to display news stories.
Google and Facebook surface news based on algorithms. So unless the algorithm is biased… https://t.co/loFAVgqDzq
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) October 30, 2016
As Brian Stelter of CNN pointed out, the FBI story was indeed a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook, and featured prominently on Google News.
— CNN (@CNN) October 30, 2016
Trump’s claim, Stelter concluded, “has no accuracy whatsoever.”