Is Google Even-Handed? Is The Bear Catholic?

Here is a story of three simple searches. The search I did is for the following terms:

left wing political violence united states


First, the results on Bing, Microsoft’s search engine …

left wing political violence bing.png

All but one have “left wing” or “left” in the headline.

Next, the same search on DuckDuckGo, the privacy-oriented search engine …

left wing political violence duckduck.png

Again, all but one have “left wing” or “left” in the headline.

Finally, the same search on Google.

left wing political violence google.png

From looking at that, I’d swear that I’d searched for “right wing political violence united states”.

But wait, as they say on TV, there’s more. There’s a reason it looks like I searched for “right wing”. Here’s their dirty trick.

Google puts the terms that you search for, like say “terrorism”, in bold text on the search page that they return.

Now, look at the image above. Every place it says “right” or “right wing” it is in bold text. They are actively searching for “right” and “right wing”, despite the fact that I’d asked them to search for “left” and “left wing”.

Google is searching for “right wing” when I specifically asked them to search for “left wing”??? That is despicable, underhanded, corrupt, sleazy, sneaky, vile, I run out of words to describe that evil practice.

And there is even more. Google has refused to provide services to the US Army on moral grounds, and at the same time, their oh-so-moral cadre of programmers are developing a special search engine for China to keep their populace wrongly informed … seems like they may be beta-testing it in the US … here’s another view of the problem.

google candidate search.png

Scary stuff, folks. Best to keep in mind what my grandma, the Captain’s daughter, used to say:

You can believe half of what you read,

A quarter of what you hear,

And an eighth of what you say.

A very wise and amazing woman … regards to everyone on a lovely warm evening,


With a hat tip to Bob Clasen for sparking the idea.

38 thoughts on “Is Google Even-Handed? Is The Bear Catholic?

  1. See also:

    The article contains links to Breitbart and also to the whole document on scribd.

    The document makes very interesting reading. See the conclusions starting on page 79.

    “The Good Censor: How can Google reassure the world that it protects users from harmful content while still supporting free speech?” CULTURAL CONTEXT REPORT – MARCH 2018
    Proprietary + Confidential


  2. Like you I find Google a detestable organisation and do not use it. I use DDG for search and Bing for maps.

    I find it interesting that just below this comments box are 4 little icons. If you put your finger curser on them, 3 of them tell you what they are. The W says it is WordPress, the wee blue bird says it is Twitter and the f says it is Facebook. The G doesn’t say anything. Well, not on my machine anyway.


    • Oldseadog ,
      No idea what you see on your machine. After Willis’ post there are 4 boxes [rectangles] and they are clearly identified. The right most claims it is G+ Google – – now history, I think.
      I’m using MS Edge.
      I’m typing into a box, below which on the right is the blue WordPress logo.

      So, Oldseadog , regarding your comment, color me confused.


      • When I click in the box to make a comment like this 4 little icons appear. When I put the curser on each one on my desktop it tells me what the icon means except for the G one. On this tablet which belongs to my wife it tells me what the G means as well.
        I just found it curious that apparently Google is coy about telling me on at least one system.


  3. This is a very useful demonstration of several interesting things:

    1) Google has, in the past, accused Bing of (so to speak) plagiarizing search results. This would be counter-evidence. At least, a contrary anecdote.

    2) “Left” and “Right” are not particularly stable terms. Thinking of the “Battle in Seattle” in which a “black bloc” (fashion statement, not racial identity) joined with trade unions and environmentalist to attack “globalism” and “open borders” and “free trade” — So were those protesters of the Left or the Right? And two decades later when a political leader vows to close the borders and renegotiate trade deals and rejects globalism by putting his own nation and industries and worker/voter/taxpayers first — is such an advocate of such a program of the Left or the Right? Characterizing, in 2018, a riot occurring in 1999, requires a Winston Smith to flip the mirror every so often.

    3) There appears to be a consensus among the 3 tested search engines that “violence” is a synonym for “terror”. I mean it appears to me that busting windows and looting TVs or jewelry and vandalizing parked cars and burning dumpsters etc etc etc gets lumped in with setting off bombs and loosing gas in the subway and taking hostages. I would be various curious to have feedback from the community here to suggest a search term — regardless of “direction” — that distinguishes the sort of riot conditions of a mob from the attack-and-aftermath conditions of various “lone wolf” attacks. Picking on example events associated with the “right wing” in order to defuse distractions from the left-leaning among us, how does one construct a search query that distinguishes Timothy McVeigh’s “terror attack” in the OKC bombing from the mob actions in Charlottesville in hopes of identifying only other examples of the latter?


  4. Woah, that’s disquieting. I ran a couple of similar searches, to try and eliminate confounding factors, e.g. “left wing violence” without “united states” and “political”, with similar results.

    Surprisingly enough, repeating the search in my own language (Dutch) did *not* give a similar result; try “links geweld” or “extreemlinks geweld”. The first hit (for me) actually links to a report by our national intelligence agency stating that the extreme left is *more* violent than the extreme right, while the next link says that extreme left violence leads to less frequent prosecution. Not exactly biased towards the left.

    So at least Google doesn’t “override” searches *everywhere*. Alternatively (and it is a possibility:) this particular overriding is not actually Google policy, but a fluke – one that needs to be fixed yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just tried a search for “right wing political violence united states”, wondering about symmetry. (Perhaps”left” or “right” always invokes both terms.) Nope, just got hits about right wing violence.


  6. I use ‘ Google Earth ‘ and its ‘ Street View ‘ because I like to “look” at places and get oblique views of the landscape. If there are better ways of doing this, let me know.
    I use Google search about 1 % of the time – – only when I think DDGo is confused or sparse. 1% for Bing, also.
    My cheap smart phone (Moto E4+) uses the Android system, but I ignore it as much as possible. There is no reception at home, so I only use it while in my Bluetooth equipped Subaru.


  7. Google decided to simply lie to us. They are not alone.

    I am sure that this is not a conspiracy, but my belief becomes more and more difficult to sustain.


  8. Thanks very much for this enlightening article Willis.
    I use Google as my default search engine because I have become familiar with it over the years (as I suspect many people do)
    We even use ‘google’ as a generic verb these days (‘google’ this, ‘google’ that)
    Well, after reading your experience here, no more using Giggle for me (and no, ‘Giggle’ is not a typo – that’s what I’m calling it from now on)
    Do you mind if I link to your article here when I get any opportunities to give others the heads-up about Google’s perfidy? (I love that word. I use it a lot in connection to Climategate)


  9. Hi Willis, Left And Right meaning (picture) changes depending were you live.
    ” It is very likely that most Europeans rely on the European definitions of right and left, labor and capitalist, and liberal and conservative when they read about the politics in the United States;”
    I think Google is just trying to think for you. Just the other day we conversed about socialism V capitalism, you promoted capitalism ie liberal , Seeing Europe has twice the population of the U.S, Google probably went with the odds. It can be a confusing world at times, left meaning right, Willis your “BAD” (good) and your blog is “wicked” (wonderful) . cheers


    • I’m sorry, jmorpuss, but when I ask Google to search for “left wing violence”, I do NOT want it to search for “right wing violence”, “right wing”, or “right” anything. Yet that is exactly what it is doing.

      And no, Google is not using European definitions. The version of Google that runs depends on where you are, because Europe has very different privacy laws. Here, they’re running the US version, with US definitions.



      • In you settings do you have your location turned off?
        Google searches power words. the power words you used were “political violence”
        Try turning you search words around ” U.S political violence left “


        • remember, he did the same search for left and right and in both cases got links to violence of the right. If they were using the opposite definitions, he should have been able to get info about both sides, not only info from one side.

          I worked there for a year, the amount of political bias from vocal people there is every bit as bad as you can imagine. They are so biased that they don’t realize that they are at all biased.


      • I tried using “leftist” instead of “left wing” to see if the “wing” was triggering the “right wing” but I still got the same results. The fact that you didn’t have left wing results show up when you typed “right wing” puts the last nail in the coffin.


      • Here in Brisbane, Australia, if I run “left wing violence”, Google returns mostly results with “left wing”in the headline.

        If I add to the search ïn America”, Google returns nearly all headlines with “right wing” in the headline. The first entry is this:

        Right-wing warnings pose far more danger to America than left-wing ……/right-wing-warnings-pose-far-more-danger-america…
        Sep 28, 2018 – Authoritarians historically have gained power by pointing to nonexistent violence from their opponents.

        The next two are Wikipedia links, first to “Right Wing Terrorism”, then to “Left Wing Terrorism”.

        Then this:

        Authoritarian rhetoric about left-wing violence ‘distorted,’ ‘dangerous …

        The next six – the remainder of the page – are all about right wing violence and how it is the leading “two thirds” component of terrorism in your great country.

        Clearly Messrs Putin and Xi are not the only folks using dirty tricks to intervene in US political affairs.

        Just by the by, I’ve been reading your cyber contributions for years and years – since way back on Climate Audit, I think. Always clear, always thought provoking; and your personal stories are a sheer delight. Thank you.


  10. I stopped using Google years ago. It seems George Gilder thinks Google’s lack of concern for security will lead to it’s demise.

    George Gilder: Forget Cloud Computing, Blockchain is the Future


    • My day job is computer security, so this discussion is right in my area of expertise.
      I saw him on Levin’s show last week, and I spent the first 15 min nodding along, and then the rest of the time shaking my head.

      blockchain is good for tracking changes to a set of related things (moving numbers from one bucket to another, like bitcoin wallets is a good example), but it your bitcoin wallet is not secured by blockchain, it’s secured with an encryption key.

      Authentication can be handled very nicely with encryption keys, and it would even allow people to have different IDs that they keep separate (see the Novel “EarthWeb” available as a DRM free download from the Baen Free Library for examples)

      right now “blockchain” is being listed as the solution to everything, and it actually only works in a small number of areas


  11. OMG, I read the article on Forbes that claimed right wing terrorism far outweighed left wing and this is what I read:

    “Terrorists murdered 3,342 people on U.S. soil from 1992 through August 12, 2017. Islamist terrorists are responsible for 92% of all those murders.” (Emphasis mine)

    So they’re equating Al Qaeda with neo-nazis!!? Well some have called them Islamofascists, but really? So anyone who isn’t a Marxists rates as right wing? And who pray tell of the 9/11 terrorists were Americans? Does Al Qaeda drive around with MAGA bumper stickers?


  12. A quick, related, test of Google using the search term “Mob Violence” (looking for reports about riots, looters, protest-arsonists) etc returned a lot of articles about school shootings, hate crimes, active shooters, and one about “civil unrest”. (Now, just me, I sort of consider “civil” to be an antonym of “violent” but I’m probably just old. I can remember when marriage, torture, rape, and gender had quite different definitions than currently.)

    No headlines at all in the front page search results for “riots”. Or looters. Or even “violence” — one of the keyword in the search query.

    DDgo is more diverse, including “lynchings” massacres, and abused and battered women among the headlines for articles supposedly matching the terms.


  13. Google seems to want to find whatever it thinks I am looking for, not what I actually type in. I wanted to look up something related to file-system sizing in Devuan, a Linux distro available in a 64-bit form for the Raspberry Pi 3B, And it kept insisting on returning all sorts of info about the more well-known Debian. So even outside of politics, it seems to try to be helpful in the same way that “autocorrupt” on phones is.


  14. I read an article a while back that suggested images were the same way and tested it to find that it’s true.

    In Google Images, if you search images for “black couples,” you get a bunch of photos of black couples. If you search for “white couples,” you get a lot of images with mixed races with a few that are strictly of white couples. If you search for “homosexual couples,” you get images of homosexual couples. If you search for “heterosexual couples,” you get a mixed set of images, almost always with a few that are of homosexual couples.

    I’d not seen searches done such as you’ve done for this article.
    It’s so comforting to know that I’m saved from myself and information I want to learn that might be damaging to my soul.


  15. I just re-ran your experiment. I got almost the same results from all three search engines today that you found from google when you originally did it. Sad.


  16. Pingback: Freedom of Expression in Online and Social Media | Pearltrees

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