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Fox Business' Lou Dobbs. Photo: John Lamparski via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted this morning that Big Tech platforms, specifically Google, are suppressing conservative voices and news, while Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow later added that the administration is "taking a look" at whether Google searches should be regulated.

Why it matters: As Axios' David McCabe points out, "Nobody has presented strong evidence that the engineers at Silicon Valley companies manipulate algorithms to intentionally disadvantage conservatives because of a personal political bias, despite such claims being made for years."

The backdrop: This is not the first time Trump, or even conservatives at large, have accused social media platforms of censoring their voices. Just last month, Trump seized on allegations that Twitter was "shadow banning" conservatives and threatened to investigate the practice he called "discriminatory and illegal."

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded by claiming that while the company is admittedly more left-leaning, the platform "does not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology."

This morning's Google-aimed tirade appears to stem from a PJ Media article titled, "96 Percent of Google Search Results for 'Trump' News Are from Liberal Media Outlets," which was covered last night by Fox Business' Lou Dobbs.

  • In a test that she admitted was "not scientific," PJ Media editor Paula Bolyward Googled the word "Trump" and classified each result based on a media chart compiled by right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group anchor Sharyl Atkisson.
  • She found that out of the top 100 search results, only five were by media outlets considered conservative — Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. CNN, WaPo, and NBC appeared most frequently in the top 100, prompting Bolyard to conclude there is a "blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets."
  • "PJ Media did not appear in the first 100 results, nor did National Review, The Weekly Standard, Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Wire, Hot Air, Townhall, [or] Red State."

Google says it doesn't bias its results toward any political ideology.

"When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users' queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment."
— Google spokesperson

The bigger picture: Fringe conservative outlets have been citing suspect data analysis for a while to discredit tech companies and say that they censor conservative voices.

  • For example, Western Journal, a pro-Trump website, published a study they conducted that they say proves Facebook's algorithm changes were crushing traffic to conservative sites. The study was picked up by other conservative outlets, like The Daily Wire, Gateway Pundit and One News Now.

What's next: Facebook, Twitter, and Google will be returning to Capitol Hill Sept. 5 to talk about censorship and election interference.

Go deeper

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
6 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.