Software engineer Mike Wacker, until recently an employee of Google, confirmed Breitbart News’ report that the tech giant reordered its YouTube search results for “Federal Reserve” following criticism by left-wing MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
In a tweet, Wacker confirmed the details of Breitbart’s report — that Google, which owns YouTube, manually added the term “Federal Reserve” to its blacklist of “controversial YouTube search queries” a day after Hayes complained about the original results, which featured a number of videos critical of the Fed.
Wacker previously authored an article on Medium.com in which he challenged Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s claim, made under oath before Congress, that the company doesn’t “manually intervene” in any search result.
“Since I didn’t cover it in the Medium post, the blacklist entries related to the Federal Reserve were added on Sep 7, 2018, a day after [Chris Hayes] sent his tweets complaining about YouTube search results for that topic,” wrote Wacker in a tweet earlier today.
Also, since I didn’t cover it in the Medium post, the blacklist entries related to the Federal Reserve were added on Sep 7, 2018, a day after @chrislhayes sent his tweets complaining about YouTube search results for that topic:https://t.co/9qsBFLJVuc
— Mike Wacker (@m_wacker) July 31, 2019
In his Medium post earlier this year, Wacker also confirmed that he was the author of an internal Google discussion thread about the full YouTube search blacklist, which reordered a number of search results for political topics, including the search terms “abortion,” “abortions,” “Maxine Waters” and “David Hogg.”
In the discussion thread, parts of which were obtained by Breitbart News and published earlier this year, Wacker described the manipulation of search results as a “smoking gun” proving Google’s political bias.
The leaked thread reveals that YouTube embarked on a similar chain of decisions when adjusting search results for “abortion,” and “abortions.” Like search results for “Federal Reserve,” they were altered by the tech giant after a left-wing journalist — this time from Slate — complained about the prominence of pro-life videos in the search results.
Project Veritas later obtained further documents from inside Google showing that the company changed YouTube search results for topics related to the Irish referendum to decriminalize abortion, adjusting results in a manner that favored the pro-abortion side shortly before the vote took place.
In a comment to Breitbart News yesterday, a YouTube spokesman did not deny that the company is changing its search results on political topics, but said it did so to prevent the spread of “conspiracy theories” on the platform:
We’ve been very public that for a wide range of news and information queries, we have algorithms that are designed to surface authoritative content of all political viewpoints. This helps prevent spam and conspiracy theories from surfacing prominently on our site.
Breitbart News will continue to investigate Google’s manipulation of search results.
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