Shortly after President Donald Trump issued his first travel ban in 2017, some Google workers discussed manipulating search results to counter "algorithmic biased results for" terms such as Islam, Iran, Muslim and so forth, and direct users on how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations, according to internal emails obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
One employee suggested promoting links to organizations like the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, the Immigration Defense Project, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, all organizations opposed to Trump's immigration policies. Other ideas included actively countering "prejudiced, algorithmically biased results from search terms 'Islam,' 'Muslim,' 'Iran,' 'Mexico,' 'Hispanic,' 'Latino,' etc."
"I know this would require a full-on sprint to make happen, but I think this is the sort of super timely and imperative information that we need as we know that this country and Google, would not exist without immigration," one employee wrote.
A few employees issued cautionary comments.
"This is a highly political issue, so we need to remain fair and balanced and present facts," one executive wrote, per the Journal.
Google says the ideas were not implemented.
"Their emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented," according to Google, the Journal reported. "Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology – not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump's executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies."
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