Donald Trump has claimed that Google has both helped bolster as well as undermine his candidacy for the highest office in the US. The Republican candidate has said a "Google poll" showed him leading in the presidential race while reiterating past claims that Google search is biased toward his rival Hillary Clinton.
"A new post-debate poll, the Google poll, has us leading Hillary Clinton by two points nationwide," Trump said at a rally in Wisconsin, after the highly televised and tweeted presidential debate. "And that's despite the fact that Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton," he added. "How about that."
In doing so, Trump reiterated his theory, floated earlier in the year, that Google was suppressing search results portraying Clinton in a critical light. This is not the first time that Google has been accused of being involved in Clinton's campaign. In June, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed that the tech giant was working closely with the Clinton campaign to promote her candidacy.
However, Google has refuted the theory and claims of bias levelled against it by various sites and individuals. The tech giant has said that its automated algorithm only filtered out phrases which it deemed "offensive, hurtful or inappropriate queries about people."
Is there a Google poll?
The poll Trump refers to is a Google Consumer Survey, which was conducted by IJR (Independent Journal Review), and according to reports, is not a scientific poll of the candidates' standings. The survey shows Trump with a 1.7-point overall lead while showing Clinton won the debate 52-to-48.
Google does not pitch the survey as a poll or as a poll substitute, instead highlighting it as a marketing tool, the Washington Post reported. Given the uncertainty about who was included in the survey and if and how participants were screened to ensure they watched the debate, the accuracy of the results may be questionable when compared to other internet-based polls, the Post report added.
"We won every poll. Virtually every poll," he said, citing in one instance a non-existent poll. Trump claimed in an interview, "I won CBS". This led to CBS correspondent Major Garrett taking to Twitter to post a clarification that read, "We did not conduct a post-debate poll."