Conservatives Pull Google Into Their Plan to Let People Die - 2020-10-14
Thousands of people from the general public have also signed the petition, and it's become a cause celebre in conservative circles that never wanted to do anything to stop the virus's spread anyway. In recent days, numerous pundits from the conservative blogosphere have published pieces claiming that Google is suppressing links to The Great Barrington Declaration. I would provide links to the blogs, but there's no reason to make the clicks easy for them, you can just run the search term "Google is censoring The Great Barrington Declaration" on Google and you'll find everything right at the top. These articles are from conservative bottom feeders, but this morning, Ben Shapiro tweeted a link to one that is headlined "Why has Google censored the Great Barrington Declaration?"
Shapiro commented on the link saying, "Social media censorship of the Great Barrington Declaration is just more evidence that many of our supposed cultural superiors aren't interested in scientific debate. They're interested in cramdowns." While Shapiro could also reasonably be referred to as a conservative bottom feeder he has a huge audience for his show and 3.2 million Twitter followers. The guy has influence.
But if you try to search for the petition, its main homepage is either the first result or one of the top three results. We tried this in different browsers and using incognito mode. The results varied between tests, but the petition's website itself was always a top-ranking option . There are also claims going around that the problem is in English language countries outside the U.S., so we asked Google for confirmation on whether they've taken any actions to de-rank or game results for the petition. A spokesperson for the company told us that search results, in this case, aren't the product of a particular policy, but "it can take a little time for our automated systems to learn enough about new pages like this for them to rank better for relevant terms." The spokesperson pointed to the fact that Joe Biden's website took some time to make it onto the first page of results and said, "As with that case, this case or any case, we'll look to see how we can improve freshness for such navigational queries."