Donald Trump has suggested that Google “manipulated” 16 million votes during the 2016 presidential election, and people are confused.
Taking to his preferred form of communication, Twitter, he wrote [random capitalisation his]:
Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!
This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch.
He then went on to tag a right-wing advocacy group called Judicial Watch.
The American president didn’t explicitly cite his sources, but people online believe that he cited the testimony of Robert Epstein, a research psychologist, who testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee earlier this year.
Epstein had argued that candidates being given more attention in search results can “easily shift voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 per cent or more.”
In June, Epstein told Ted Cruz that Google’s apparent bias may have resulted in at least 2.6 million undecided voters voting for Clinton through the search engine’s search algorithm.
His argument repeats the discredited claim that “millions of people” voted illegally in the 2016 elections.
Needless to say, Epstein’s comments have been hotly contested, with Google’s Sundar Pichai arguing that his methodology was flawed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Google called Epstein’s research “nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.”
People online took Trump's latest Twitter rant with humour
Others pointed out that he lost the popular vote
Hillary Clinton clapped back by letting the US president know that the study has been debunked