On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted out a video with the caption “#StopTheBias” that made a harsh allegation against Google.
The video begins claiming, “For years, Google promoted President Obama’s State of the Union on its homepage. When President Trump took office, Google stopped.” It goes on to show a series of screen captures on the Google homepage from 2012 to 2018.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
The claim is simply false. Google promoted Trump’s State of the Union speeches in the exact same way they promoted former President Barack Obama’s.
From dates to fonts to the type of speech, here are all the red flags in Trump’s Google video:
The Wrong Speech
Trump called out Google for not having his 2017 State of the Union featured on its homepage. But Google says they didn’t feature Obama’s first State of the Union in 2009 either. Google said in a statement to Buzzfeed News that because the speech is so early in the presidency, it’s not technically a State of the Union, but rather a formal address to Congress.
On January 30 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage. We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.
The video seemingly used an internet tool called the Wayback Machine, which archives screenshots of websites on certain dates. The Wayback Machine, however, is set in the GMT time zone.
The Wayback Machine shows the link to Trump’s speech featured on January 31 at 1:00 a.m. GMT, which would’ve still been January 30 in the United States.Screen Shot, Wayback Machine
The screen capture for 2016 in Trump’s video has a strange discrepancy: the font for Google is wrong. According to The Verge, Google switched to a sans-serif font in 2015 and was using the font for the Google homepage throughout 2016, meaning the screen shot in Trump’s video, which shows an outdated serif font, may be doctored.
Here’s a screen capture from January 10, two days before the State of the Union:Screen Shot, Wayback Machine
Another discrepancy in the Trump Google video is that every screen capture features the normal Google logo on its homepage. Google often features “Google doodles” on its homepage to highlight certain holidays or other events. This was no different on some of the days the State of the Union happened, specifically 2012 and 2017.
Here’s the captured image from Wayback Machine on January 12, 2016 featuring a google doodle and a link to Obama’s State of the Union:Screen Shot, Wayback Machine
Take a Look
Here are the links to screen captures from the Wayback Machine from 2012 through 2018 on the days of State of the Union addresses:
Wednesday’s Google video is Trump’s latest attack on the search engine giant. On Tuesday he tweeted, “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD.”