This SEO online course was made for beginners and it’s only $11

Heads up: All items included here are chosen by Mashable’s commerce group and fulfill our extensive requirements for awesomeness. Mashable might make an affiliate commission if you purchase something.

Search engine optimization is something we seriously cannot appear to obtain far from — whether we like it or not, it’s the brand-new “it” ability that nearly every company searches for.

The only concern? Numerous of us do not really understand exactly what SEO is. We become aware of all of it the time, see it in task requirements, and possibly understand it has something to do with Google. This SEO for newbies online course can fill you in on nearly whatever you have to understand, and there’s no experience needed.

Get all set to be assisted into the world of search engine optimization, broken down into 3 aspects: making use of keywords, understanding the search engine tracking tools for blog sites and sites, and concrete directions on how to get your website popping up.

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Marissa SafontThis SEO online course was made for beginners and it’s only $11
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WeWork acquires SEO and marketing company Conductor

WeWork is getting Conductor .

The 2 organisations may not appear like an apparent fit. Why would a coworking huge purchase a business that’ s best understood for seo?

Well, Conductor co-founder and CEO Seth Besmertnik stated that he and WeWork CEO Adam Neumann went to college together, and they’ ve “ kept reconnecting and reconnecting throughout the years. ” More significantly, the business are currently clients of each other’ s services.

WeWork President &Chief Financial Officer Artie Minson elaborated on that concept in an emailed declaration:

There’ s a lot that make WeWork and Conductor a natural fit. Seth and his group constructed Conductor to supply the insights, education, and resources their consumers have to be successful — to puts it simply, Conductor assists their consumers do exactly what they enjoy, and do it much better. Conductor has actually made it simpler for us to reach possible WeWork members who are searching for work area. It’ s likewise assisted us get the word out about the services and features that we provide to business of all sizes.

And now that Conductor belongs to WeWork, Besmertnik stated, “ We ’ re going to be constructing a marketing cloud to pursue the business market.”

Besmertnik argued that “ search information is human information, ” so it makes good sense to utilize that information to power material development — and the business was currently including material marketing tools to its core SEO item. Progressing, Conductor strategies to broaden into other kinds of advertising and marketing.

He included that this shouldn’ t modification anything for existing Conductor consumers.

“ It ’ s just going to be much better, ” Besmertnik stated. “ We ’ re going to be buying the item a lot more strongly.”

Conductor will continue to run as an independent organisation, with its own customers, and Besmertnik will continue to work as CEO. At the very same time, it will be trying to find methods to wrap its services for WeWork’ s Enterprise consumers. (And these are truly big services — WeWork states its Enterprise members consist of 22 percent of the Fortune 500.)

WeWork’ s 2 latest acquisitions were Flatiron School and Meetup , which likewise continue to run as independent services.

According to Crunchbase , Conductor had actually raised more than $60 million in overall financing from financiers consisting of Matrix Partners, Firstmark, Investor Growth Capital, Blue Cloud Ventures and Catalyst Investors. The monetary regards to the acquisition weren’ t divulged, however Besmertnik explained the offer as “ an excellent result for everyone.”

Both business likewise talk about the handle their own blog site posts

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Marissa SafontWeWork acquires SEO and marketing company Conductor
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Franklin Foer: ‘Big tech has been rattled. The conversation has changed’

When the author Franklin Foer initially raised issues about Silicon Valleys power gamers, individuals took a look at me amusing. Now his work appears prophetic

The admission by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg was worrying.

“Things took place on our platform in this election that must not have actually occurred,” she stated in an onstage interview recently with Mike Allen, the reporter and Washington diary-keeper. “Especially, and extremely unpleasant, foreign disturbance in a democratic election.”

But Sandberg averted a string of follow-up concerns. What “things”? When precisely did Facebook observe the “things”? Was it a great deal of “things”? Has the business looked after the issue? And why should the general public take Facebook’s word for it?

The Sandberg interview belonged to a very first wave of troubleshooting by Facebook in a crisis that is simply starting to substance. Executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter have actually been contacted us to offer sworn public testament prior to a United States congressional panel early next month about exactly what took place on their platforms in the run-up to the governmental election, now nearly a year back. The business have actually likewise been approached by Robert Mueller, the unique counsel examining supposed ties in between Russia and the Donald Trump governmental project.

For all the effects of Trump’s presidency, amongst the most unexpected might be the hostile analysis that has actually emerged of America’s star-dusted tech business, as awareness dawns of how Russia benefited from the business’ platforms– and their extremely lucrative fascinations with targeting people and content sharing, minus oversight– to raise Trump and attack Hillary Clinton.

“They’re being rattled in a manner where they’ve never ever been rattled,” stated Franklin Foer, whose brand-new book, World Without Mind: the Existential Threat of Big Tech , can be checked out as a remarkable prediction of huge tech’s public numeration. Speaking on the phone from Washington DC, Foer stated it would be an error to believe the federal government was striking the business yet “with its heaviest blows”.

“It’s simply to state that they’ve simply been so untouched for so long, that even these fairly harmless calls to turn over proof or to affirm are culturally and politically considerable.”

Foer’s book outgrew a cover story about monopolistic abuses by Amazon in The New Republic, the intellectually certified, century-old publication of public affairs at which Foer took 2 turns as editor. At the time, Foer was wishing to transform the publication for the Facebook age after it was purchased by a co-founder of Facebook. His individual informing of that story in World Without Mind remembers a previous book where he utilized his nuclear-grade soccer fandom to describe globalization.

“I began dealing with this in 2014, when I did, individuals took a look at me amusing,” Foer stated of the brand-new book. “It resembled I was a hippy wailing into the wind, it seemed like, since of the status that these tech business held. Unexpectedly, when the book came out last month, I had a radio host implicating me of spouting the traditional knowledge. The tide had actually turned so rapidly.

“The most significant issue is that Facebook and Google are these huge feedback loops that offer individuals exactly what they wish to hear. When you utilize them in a world where your predispositions are being continuously validated, you end up being prone to phony news, propaganda, demagoguery.”

Official and public outrage is growing at the tech business with the awareness that an army of Russia-linked bots and giants running as imposter accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other networks had the ability to purchase advertisements and target an approximated numerous millions of Americans with political messages throughout the election. The methods of the imposter accounts, which looked for to irritate users over hot-button social problems, have actually highlighted a sneaking sense of the nation having actually been essentially attacked– and outmaneuvered.

 google /> Photograph: JasonDoiy/Getty Images

The present analysis is all the complete stranger considered that huge tech has actually gotten a virtual complimentary pass in its present version. For the last 15 years, legislators have actually shrugged as Amazon bulldozed its method to a near- monopoly in the book organisation and most each retail company. And nobody took much interest as Facebook controlled users’ news feeds, inflated its metrics to marketers and try out driving citizen turnout. Couple of appeared to care as Google scanned libraries filled with copyrighted product and, like Apple, moved billions in possessions offshore to decrease tax liabilities. These business continued to grow and squeeze almost every rival out.

The bigger concerns of possible risks positioned by huge tech, on the other hand– as the business gather limitless information about United States people to whom they constantly offer gadgets and items created to make our lives constantly easier– have actually shown totally outside the federal government’s ken.

Like no other occasion prior to it, Foer stated, the election of Trump has actually taken shape the sensation that the huge tech business– Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft — have actually possibly been enabled to collect a little excessive power with a little insufficient oversight.

“The election is the important things that’s altered the discussion,” he stated. “For liberals, a great deal of it involves this upset sense that Facebook was in some way complicit in the Trump success. For conservatives, it’s their rote hatred of huge media, in the sense that gatekeepers who are liberal will constantly rig the system in favor of liberals. In the end, it’s a shared stress and anxiety.

“There are plainly emancipatory powers prowling within these brand-new innovations. When that power ends up being caught, and when uniqueness and our sense of firm ends up being illusory– when power ends up being so deeply focused in a little handful of companies on which we all depend, then we are skewing in the instructions of dystopia.”

When Foer started dealing with his book, he was nearing completion of an extremely individual lesson about how huge tech might cannot measure up to its own high-minded intents. 2 years previously, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes had actually dedicated a sliver of his fortune to purchasing The New Republic and persuaded Foer to take a 2nd turn as editor-in-chief.

Hughes, Foer composes, was “a legendary hero– boyishly innocent, remarkably abundant, intellectually curious, all of a sudden simple, and happily optimistic”. The publication developed a brand-new website without an identifiable advertisement existence and shunned seo and other bleak tools that contemporary media business utilize in the mission for clicks and the advertisement cash behind them.

The experiment ended after Foer released the Amazon cover story and Hughes, having actually recognized what does it cost? cash he was losing, employed a CEO from Yahoo! who rebranded the publication as a “vertically incorporated digital media business”. A personnel exodus occurred, with Foer in front.

“I hope this book does not encounter as sustained by anger, however I do not wish to reject my anger either,” Foer composes. In World Without Mind, his review of Amazon has actually progressed into a stylish polemic versus the huge business whose capability to please customers has for too long masked corollary risks for the economy, for individual privacy and, eventually, for the workout of democracy.

“It’s not that we have to toss our iPhones into the sea, or that we have to position the concept of an online search engine into an archive where just scholars with white gloves would have the ability to take a look at it,” Foer stated. “We must have the ability to form these innovations in a manner that they do not disrupt the functions of our democracy, they do not addict us, they do not control us.”

Foer welcomes the concern of exactly what sort of policy might remain in order– an old-fashioned monopoly-bust? A federal information security law?– by indicating London’s choice to de-license Uber, and to the effort in Europe to tame Google.

“I’m actually doubtful of the concept that there can be some regulative body that can manage Facebook and require it to act in a virtuous sort of method,” he stated.

“The Europeans are type of searching towards the dismemberment of Google today, by aiming to sever the advertisement service from its search company. I believe that there’s some comparable sort of design that might be used to Facebook that would have the result of seriously injuring its monopoly and would have the result of making it act more virtuously.”

Foer likewise indicates an effort released this summer season by a union of significant paper and brand-new media business to obtain consent from Congress to haggle jointly with Facebook and Google over advertisement earnings and access to material. Even as they count on the tech giants to discover a broad readership, media business have actually been starved of advertisement earnings, and pressed in some cases to termination, by the exact same business.

“That the media alliance is promoting regulative services is fascinating,” stated Foer. “That it’s not simply silently groaning about Google and Facebook, that they’re now actively pressing back. And I believe it’s shown in the protection.

“It’s relatively spectacular to take a look at the paper every day and to awaken to exactly what appears like a fresh mainstream media attack on huge tech, which is something I truly had not anticipated. New media had actually sort of laid prostrate prior to these men, and generally accepted their fate as type of being connected to Facebook and Google.

“It’s like a post-Soviet state having a color transformation to see media rebel versus these business.”

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Marissa SafontFranklin Foer: ‘Big tech has been rattled. The conversation has changed’
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Learn how to be a digital marketing pro with this bundle of online classes

Image: pexels

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Marissa SafontLearn how to be a digital marketing pro with this bundle of online classes
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Inside the Online Campaign to Whitewash the History of Donald Trumps Russian Business Associates

A secret customer has actually been paying blog writers in India and Indonesia to compose short articles distancing President Donald Trump from the legal travails of a mob-linked previous company partner.

Spokespeople for online track record management business in the 2 nations validated that they had actually been paid to compose posts trying to whitewash Trump’s ties to Felix Sater, a Russian-born business owner who, with previous Russian trade minister Tevfik Arif, teamed up with the Trump Organization on many property offers from New York to the previous Soviet Union.

The project appears created to affect Google search results page relating to Trump’s relationship with Sater, Arif, and the Bayrock Group, a New York property company that teamed up with Trump on a series of realty offers, and hired Russian financiers for possible Trump handle Moscow.

Sater– who as soon as had a workplace at New York’s Trump Tower, Trump Organization service cards, and declares to have actually worked as a senior advisor to Trump– has just recently became an essential figure in the federal examination led by unique counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 governmental election.

In the lead-up to the election, Sater worked thoroughly with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in an unsuccessful effort to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow with the help of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, which Sater stated would assist Trump win the presidency. According to declarations made by Cohen in 2015, Trump personally signed-off on the job.

Sater and Cohen likewise worked together on a proposition early in the Trump administration to fix the years-long dispute in Ukraine’s Crimea area, and to raise sanctions enforced versus Russia for their military intervention in and addition of the area. Inning accordance with a current BBC report , Sater even assisted Cohen assist in a conference in between Trump and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko, for which Cohen was covertly paid $400,000. Sater and Cohen both rejected that report.

Sater’s relationship with Trump and his household returns much even more. The Russian emigre has actually checked out property handle Moscow given that the late '&#x 27; 80s. When the Trump Organization took interest, Sater was straight associated with their company efforts in the nation, even accompanying Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. on a 2006 see to Moscow at the demand of the older Trump. The senior Trump now states he does not even keep in mind Sater.

In 2010, a one-time executive at Bayrock brought a claim versus the company. “For the majority of its presence, [Bayrock] was considerably and discreetly mob-owned and ran,” “the match declared. Bayrock and Sater rejected the claims, and the suit– which at one point noted Trump and Ivanka as co-defendants– was settled in February.

In the meantime, a lawyer for the complainant because fit had actually brought another claim declaring tax scams by Bayrock. That 2nd fit, which was based upon proof reduced by the judge throughout the very first, was dismissed in 2015. When somebody started paying for blog site posts about the case, #peeee


The Daily Beast formerly reported that a Pakistani blog writer had actually been paid to compose a short article for the Huffington Post’s now-defunct factor platform hailing the termination of the tax scams case. That blog writer, who passed the deal with Waqas KH, stated his customer, whom he decreased to call, had actually supplied the text of the piece completely.

HuffPost is a popular U.S. news source, however on more odd platforms, utilized clearly for search-engine optimization, over 50 other stories have actually turned up hyping the claim’s termination and trying to insulate Trump from debate including Sater and Bayrock. The short articles were released over an eight-month duration, from September 2017 through June 2018.

“Certainly now that Trump is President of the United States, there is not most likely to be any additional ramifications for him in this case,” stated a November post at a since-deleted site billing itself as an online forum for a “organisation advancement professional.” The post was composed by Abhishek Chatterjee, who owns an Indian SEO organisation that uses to position short articles on a network of 900 sites for $20 each.

Chatterjee stated he ‘d got an order to release the short article “by means of a random e-mail,” which he doesn'&#x 27; t understand who put the order. “We get orders from numerous customers little business or huge business throughout the world,” Chatterjee composed in an e-mail. “Most of the times we do not even understand why [we are] blogging about [our customers] or who asked us to do that.”

A day prior to Chatterjee’s post published, another piece appeared on a likewise suspicious site hailing the termination of tax scams charges versus Sater, whom it called a “previous Trump crony.” That piece was authored by Mahruz Aly, an Indonesian SEO online marketer who charges up to $225 to release stories on a network of more than 2,000 sites.

Aly decreased to state who paid him for the Sater piece. Rather, he pitched his service: “If you have post for publishing, I can release it. For paid sir.”

GodsSEO, an Indonesian-based business that charges up to $600 to put dummy posts for SEO functions, was even less helpful in its reaction. “Wazup, kid?” stated a contact for the business, who reacted to queries from the e-mail address [e-mail secured]

Another Indonesian SEO supplier, Ongky Firmansyah, stated in an e-mail that he had actually been paid to arbitrarily place the names “Tevfik Arif” and “Tevfik Arif Doyen” into posts on his site.

Sater rejected any understanding of the paid SEO projects. Arif did not return efforts for remark.

The usage of “personal blog site networks” (PBNs), or dummy sites established to video game online search engine results, is a typical, if typically frowned-upon, web marketing technique, inning accordance with Brendon McAlpine, a service advancement supervisor for Australian online credibility management service Internet Removals.

McAlpine stated link plans like PBNs are regularly utilized to spread out disinformation. “The issue with PBNs is that … anybody can produce a site, develop material and authority, then take paid advertising material without vetting the precision of it,” he described. “We regularly see PBNs utilized for the damage of companies, people, federal government and star credibilities. PBNs resemble the economy of influencers, where you can discover a blog site pertinent to your target’s industry/interests and spread out harmful material or counter intelligence for a little cost.”

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines clearly forbid of usage of “massive short article marketing or visitor publishing projects” like the one utilized to advertise Sater. To avoid making use of PBNs and to secure the stability of its search results page, Google has actually even established an algorithm to immediately discover and punish efforts to fraudulently control its search ranking system.

The methods aren’t restricted to sites either. A host of dummy social networks accounts– consisting of Twitter and Facebook pages bearing the names Tevfik Arif, Tevfik Arif Doyen, TevfikArif Bayrock, and (Serbian for Tevfik Arif)– have actually been utilized given that in 2015 to plug the termination of the claim versus Sater and Bayrock.

“Another success for our terrific president Trump track record,” stated one such account in December. “Fake news loses once again.”

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Marissa SafontInside the Online Campaign to Whitewash the History of Donald Trumps Russian Business Associates
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Why Google Is the Perfect Target for Trump

A full hour before the sun rose in Washington, DC, Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired off a pair of tweets claiming that Google had “rigged” search results against conservatives. Like so many Trump grievances, the argument seems steeped less in fact than in a roiling stew of personal animus. But in Google News, the latest subject of his ire, Trump may have found the perfect target.

In Trump’s tweets—which he later deleted, then tweeted again, with no substantive changes—you can see the outlines of an attack that can’t be easily fact-checked or dismissed. Charges of bias against Google will stick, because no algorithm is truly neutral. And while Trump’s logic is specious, effectively countering it would require acceptance among his base that mainstream news sources like The New York Times are not, actually, the enemy of the people.

In truth, there’s a lot going on with these two tweets. So much so that it’s helpful to break down what Trump’s claiming, and why, and what he plans to do about it, sentence by sentence:

Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media.

Here, Trump is including not just The New York Times, CNN, and familiar targets under the "Fake News Media" umbrella, but every major media outlet other than The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. We know this because his entire argument appears to be based on this recent story in PJ Media, which claims outrageous bias in Google News results against conservative sites, yet counts everything from Reuters and Bloomberg to the Columbia Journalism Review as left-leaning. (Trump not only cites a specific statistic from the PJ media piece, suggesting strongly that’s his source, but also famously doesn’t use a computer. Googling "Trump News" is not a lived experience for him.)

In a statement, Google rejected Trump’s premise: “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.”

Google News, if anything, appears to be one of the few places left online that hasn’t devolved into microtargeted filter bubbles. In a study published just last month in Computers in Human Behavior, researchers Seth Lewis and Efrat Nechushtai found that Google News recommendations were in fact largely homogeneous, with liberals and conservatives being shown the same links regardless of ideology. In addition, the top five results for news searches came overwhelmingly from a handful of mainstream sources: The New York Times, CNN, Politico, and The Washington Post.

“Yes, Google News is dominated by mainstream news,” says Lewis, who focuses on emerging media at the University of Oregon. “If you consider mainstream news to be left-leaning, you will have concerns about the results you get from Google News. There’s no question about that.”

It’s that “if” that Trump is leaning on. If you consider everything left of The Daily Caller biased, you’re going to find bias everywhere you look.

In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD.

Google doesn’t “rig” its algorithm against conservatives, or against Trump, at least not in the way that he means here. Whether the stories and news it surfaces are “bad” depends on what happened in the world—like, say, close associates pleading guilty to or being convicted of federal crimes—right before you search. A very simple case in point: If you type “Trump” or “Trump news” right now into Google News, the top results all center around this very tirade. The fourth result in a recent search in an incognito window, which doesn't factor in search history, came from the reliably conservative Fox News.

Is Google News rigged, though? Almost certainly not, but you’d be hard-pressed to prove it. That’s because Google search, like Facebook’s News Feed and other platforms, derives its power from an algorithm for which no one outside of the company has any specific insight.

“The ways in which right-wing organizations have been able to manipulate Google and Facebook have actually worked in Donald Trump’s favor."

Safiya Noble, USC

“Black box algorithms may be kept secret for business and intellectual property reasons, but they’re vulnerable to conspiracy theories,” says Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at the University of Michigan. “There’s no way to know what the algorithm is doing for someone outside of Google or Facebook, or whatever tech company you’re talking about. And in some deeper, fundamental way, some of the machine-learning algorithms, even the people working on them don’t fully understand what they’re doing.”

That has very real stakes; a 2015 study showed that the ordering of positive and negative stories in Google search rankings could hold real sway over how people vote. Keeping algorithms closely held does have the benefit of making Google’s systems harder to game, but it also gives Trump a huge amount of runway to make allegations that aren’t easily disproven.

Fake CNN is prominent.

True enough, at least the prominence part. Lewis and Nechushtai found that CNN occupied a slot in the top five rankings for news stories on Google 12 percent of the time. Only The New York Times had more, hitting 22 percent. But relying on mainstream news outlets rather than the fringes has its own societal benefit.

“The argument—that it's bad that Google leads people to find democratic news organization—is dangerous. What we want is for people to have access to common understandings about what’s happening in the world, and investigative journalism that’s vetted and in many ways credible,” says Safiya Noble, professor at the University of Southern California and author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. "We certainly want people to have access to multiple news outlets, and search engines often do lead us to multiple voices. It’s just the more powerful voices are often on the first page.”

Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.

Again, it depends on how you define the terms. But this sentence features at least two levels of absurdity.

“The conceptual problem with Trump’s tweets is the idea that an algorithm is only fair if it returns an equally balanced number of stories favoring one side versus the other,” says Nyhan. “Take that to its logical extreme: Imagine if you searched for ‘does gravity exist,’ and Google had to return half of the search results saying ‘actually it doesn’t.’ It’s a preposterous notion, but that’s the implication of the president’s claim here.”

The idea that Google and other platforms have shut out conservative voices is also broadly incorrect. “What we have found over and over again, for a long time, is that the most conservative and racist and misogynist voices are deeply skilled in optimizing content, and have had more than their fair share of control and representation in search. In fact, it was that phenomenon that led to President Trump getting elected,” adds Noble. “The ways in which right-wing organizations have been able to manipulate Google and Facebook have actually worked in Donald Trump’s favor."


Algorithms can indeed be found to be in violation of the law, according to Salome Viljoen, a privacy fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. But that's not what's happening here. If Google’s algorithms did in some way infringe on free speech, that would only be legally problematic if Google were the US government. “You have no constitutionally protected free-speech right on Google. It’s a private platform,” says Viljoen.

Similarly, Google would be in legal trouble if its search algorithm were discriminating against a constitutionally protected class, but the 14th Amendment does not cover political conservatives. Lastly, algorithmic bias could be illegal if it somehow caused someone to, say, be turned down for a loan application, notes Viljoen. But since with news results there’s no information being sold to third parties—for example, banks, to continue the hypothetical—that concern doesn't apply.

So, to answer Trump's question in one word: No.

96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.

See above. The 96 percent number comes from the PJ Media story, which defines “National Left-Wing Media” as anything mainstream. Yet a study following the 2016 election actually found the candidate who most benefited from mainstream media bias was Trump, since coverage of Hillary Clinton was found to be overwhelmingly negative, and mainstream outlets paid comparatively little attention to Bernie Sanders.

Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good.

This is a new spin on the argument that Twitter was biased against conservatives because it banned several accounts for abusive behavior. It’s the behavior part that matters. Or in this case, it’s the thousands of signals that Google uses to determine which sites rise to the top of the rankings.

“When it comes to a regular Google search, people still might not realize what that represents,” says Lewis. “There’s preferential attachment for sites that have been around a long time. Sites that have more incoming links are seen as having higher authority. There are certain terms over time where you develop that Google juice, that gives you more salience in the rankings. The same factors that go into Google search go into Google News.”

They are controlling what we can & cannot see.

It’s true! Google does control what people see, in a way that deeply impacts society—especially marginalized voices. "Google search results work in favor of people in power, quite frankly," says Noble. "What you are more likely to see are vulnerable communities, racial and ethnic minorities, women and girls, and so forth, who are often much less likely to have influence over the algorithm or over search-engine optimization strategies and so forth in a major search engine like Google."

By appropriating this argument to his own ends, Trump also shifts attention from the very real conversations that should happen around algorithms, corporate responsibility, and representation.

"There are very many real concerns about the influence these companies wield. What's disappointing about Trump's argument is that it forces people who want to defend freedom of the press into a defense of the platforms, which deserve a lot of scrutiny. They do exert a disproportionate influence over the information people see," says Nyhan. "The danger, though, is that they will be bullied into political submission" by Trump and other aggrieved conservatives.

That could take troubling forms; look no further than Facebook cowing to conservative pressure and abandoning oversight of Trending Topics, which let unvetted stories run rampant on the platform leading up to the 2016 election. Google News today shows everyone the same stories, projecting a ground-level truth. The alternative: deeply entrenched echo chambers, the kind that have turned so much of the internet toxic.

This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!

It’s not clear what sort of regulation Trump has in mind here. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that the administration was “taking a look” at the possibility—but even the threat has serious implications.

"We should take seriously when political leaders threaten speech and media coverage they don’t like," says UMich's Nyhan. "We should worry about not just formal mechanisms of power but informal ones, political leaders bullying companies into their skewing search results or their coverage because of the threat that they'll be attacked by political leaders, or subject to regulation or other types of scrutiny.”

Facebook failed that test in 2016. Now it's Google's turn. But with its algorithm locked in a black box, and an opponent who views any media left of Breitbart with suspicion, it's going to be an unwinnable fight.

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