Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent part of last year accusing Google of using its Gmail program to send more unsolicited Republican campaign emails than Democratic ones -- while hiding the fact that users adjusting their setting eliminated the problem -- and it even got the Republican National Committee to buy into the bogus narrative. Well, nobody else bought into the bogus narrative outside the right-wing media bubble, and the MRC is mad about that too. Catherine Salgado huffed in a Jan. 19 post:
The Federal Election Commission just dismissed a complaint from several Republican entities saying Google’s Gmail spam filter was biased in favor of Democrats, constituting a potential in-kind contribution to Democrat campaigns. The evidence, including MRC analysis, seems to indicate the FEC is wrong.
The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 17 that the FEC ruled against the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee in their complaint.
The Republicans cited an “academic study” from North Carolina State University showing that Gmail sent almost 70 percent of Republican candidates’ emails to spam while it sent only about 8 percent of Democrats’ emails to spam. Republicans said the filtering “amounted to unreported campaign contributions to Democrats,” The Journal explained.
The FEC reportedly downplayed the disparity, citing the same study and arguing that the partisan bias was unintentional and Google’s algorithm simply filters spam, as The Journal wrote. Because Google is always perfectly honest, right FEC? The FEC would seem to be saying that the vast majority of Republican emails are in fact spam, and thus deserve to be filtered out, while almost no Democrat emails are spam. Is that not a partisan bias?
In fact, the NC State researchers pointed out that right-wing partisans like the MRC have misrepresented the study's findings, adding that any blocking occurred only in default settings on newly created accounts and that users are free to tweak their spam settings to receive any email they want. One researcher even said: "Gmail isn’t biased like the way it’s being portrayed. ... I’m not advocating for Gmail or anything. I’m just stating that when we take the observation out of a study, you should take all of the observations, not just cherry-pick a few and then try to use them."
Looks like Salgado has a partisan bias against Google and can't be trusted to be "perfectly honest."
That's not the only bogus Google bias narrative the MRC recently tried to advance. Gabriela Pariseau wrote in a Jan. 20 post:
Looking for information on “pregnancy”? Google’s got just the website for you: America’s largest baby-killing organization, Planned Parenthood.
MRC Free Speech America researchers analyzed Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo search results for the word “pregnancy” in a “clean environment.” Researchers performed the analysis the day before the 50th annual national March for Life in Washington, D.C. and found that Bing’s and DuckDuckGo’s search results for the word “pregnancy” stand in stark contrast to Google’s. While both Bing and DuckDuckGo showed more neutral results, displaying Healthline.com’s “overview” of pregnancy, Google showed a Planned Parenthood link as its first result. Planned Parenthood did not show up at all on the first page of results for either Bing or DuckDuckGo.
“Google may not believe it, but life is sacred,” MRC President Brent Bozell said. “Planned Parenthood should not be the first result when searching 'pregnancy' on Google. This is the work of the devil and the progressive left.”
The un-American search engine’s first result leads users to a Planned Parenthood page with an extremely detailed informational video answering “how does pregnancy happen” and the option to learn more. The link is a gateway for promoting abortion and discouraging women from seeking crisis pregnancy centers.
If this approach sounds familiar, that's bcause it is. The MRC has repeatedly accused Google of not prioritizing right-wing narratives in its search results, based on searches no normal human would use, and it refused to explain why the results it demands are supposed to show up in the searches it provides. Note that Pariseau made no effort to prove anything in that Planned Parenthood pregnancy video to be wrong, despite complaining that it was "extremely detailed" -- she simply complained that it was the first result because she hates Planned Parenthood for ideological reasons. She also didn't substantiate her slur that Google is "un-American," or why these particular search results support that slur.
Nevertheless, Pariseau went on to complain:
For example, just underneath the informational link, in the same search result, is a link to a “Pregnancy Options” page that warns users about pro-life clinics:
“Be careful when looking for a reliable health center. There are fake clinics that say they have pregnancy services. These are called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and they’re run by people who are anti-abortion and don’t believe in telling you the truth about all of your pregnancy options. They may use lies and manipulation to try to scare or shame people out of choosing abortion.”
Pariseau didn't dispute that crisis pregnancy centers mislead or scare women, because the record is quite clear on that. Which means that Pariseau is once again mad that Google is providing accurate information to its users.