Responding to reports that Silicon Valley social media platforms are censoring conservatives, President Trump stepped up his criticism of technology firms - telling Bloomberg in a wide-ranging interview that they may be in a "very antitrust situation," while repeatedly censoring himself over whether or not the companies should be broken up.
“I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that [Google] or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Bloomberg. “As you know, many people think it is a very anti-trust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”
BREAKING: Trump said some people see an “antitrust situation” with Google, Facebook and Amazon.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 30, 2018
But he said “I just can’t comment. I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that (Google) or Amazon or Facebook.”
"Look the conservatives have been treated very unfairly."
Trump has been levying accusations against social media giants for weeks - while ratcheting up his rhetoric in recent days.
On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his threats against Facebook, Twitter and Google with new comments from the Oval Office, saying the social media platforms are "treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful."
"I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that's a very serious thing and it's a very serious charge," Trump told reporters following a meeting with the president of FIFA. "They better be careful because they can't do that to people."
Trump: "Google has taken advantage of a lot of people...if you look at what is going on at Twitter, look at what is going on in Facebook, they better be careful..Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on troubled territory" pic.twitter.com/6SR2eFUOtg— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) August 28, 2018
Earlier Tuesday, Google responded to an accusation by Trump over Twitter that they're "rigging" search results against him, providing as evidence a "Trump News" search which showed predominantly "left" media publications popping up in the search results.
....results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
To which Google replied "Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology"
"Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment"
As we noted on Teusday, however, maybe Google can explain why Trump's picture is just about the only thing that appears when one does a Google image search for the word "idiot" vs. DuckDuckGo?
President Trump on Wednesday renewed his attacks on technology companies and platforms, including Twitter, Facebook Inc and Google, saying they were “trying to silence” people and suggesting that their activities - i.e., shadowbanning, censorship and bias - may be illegal.
“I think that Google and Facebook and Twitter ... treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
"I think it’s a very serious problem because they’re really trying to silence a very large part of this country, and those people don’t want to be silenced. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It may not be legal, but we’ll see. We just want fairness,” Trump added.
Then, in doubling-down on his attacks on what he called Google bias, Trump tweeted a short video that showed Google promoting president Obama's State of the Union on its homepage, in the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, but when Trump took office Google stopped, the video claims.
Google responded, saying that it did publicize Trump's 2018 State of the Union address, and adds that Trump's 2017 address was not a SOTU, it was an address to Congress, so they didn't publicize it (just as they didn't publicize Obama's address to Congress in 2009.)
In any event, between Trump's personal battles with Silicon Valley and large swaths of conservatives across social media complaining of censorship, it appears that Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have a fight on their hands.