Skip to main content

Trump fuels conspiracy that Google is 'suppressing' bad Clinton news

Trump fuels conspiracy that Google is 'suppressing' bad Clinton news

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump is not a stranger to the occasional conspiracy theory, and in a speech on Wednesday, he added a new one to the list: Google is suppressing bad news about Hillary Clinton.

"The Google poll"

"A new post-debate poll that just came out, the Google poll, has us leading Hillary Clinton by two points nationwide, and that's despite the fact that Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton," Trump said at the speech in Waukesha, Wisconsin. "How about that. How about that."

What is "the Google poll"? As flagged by The Washington Post, it appears to be this Independent Journal Review poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys. (IJR is a right-leaning blog; Google Consumer Surveys is a poll service of debatable quality.)

The second part of that sentence, referring to Google "suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton," seems to refer to a widely discredited viral conspiracy claiming Google hid negative autocomplete results about Clinton. Typing "Hillary Clinton cr," for example, did not return an autocomplete for "Hillary Clinton crimes."

Soon after the video was posted, the debunking started, and Google pointed out that it tries to remove disparaging search results for anyone, Clinton or otherwise. Others pointed out that typing in only "Hillary" followed by negative searches still returned disparaging autocomplete results. That debunking didn't make it into Trump's speech.