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What Is Google Doing With Its Search Results for Democratic 2020 Presidential Candidates?

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So, on a whim I decided to Google a few of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

The results were… interesting. Depressing.

And extraordinarily inconsistent.

Now, Google “personalizes” its search results, so your mileage may vary, but it seems to me maybe people should be seeing the same information across the board, if we want “free and fair” elections.

It’s bad enough that Facebook has allowed micro-targeting of users to push ads from President Donald Trump’s campaign. Popular.info founder Judd Legum has done extensive research on this. “Facebook admits it ran hundreds of Trump campaign ads that violate Facebook rules,” he reported back in April. That was after his reporting found the Trump campaign had “produced hundreds of ads targeting women in practically every city in Texas.”

But back to Google.

In a search for Elizabeth Warren, I noticed a box on the first page of the search results. It was depressing.

Are these really the questions Americans are asking about the two-term Senator from Massachusetts?

What about her policies? Are Americans really more curious who Warren’s husband is than what she plans to do about health care costs or gun violence?

Next, I Googled Joe Biden.

Similar box, less questions, all of them disappointing.

What about legislation the former Senator from Delaware has sponsored? What did he do as Vice President?

Nope.

Is, “Has Joe Biden ever run for president” really what Americans what to know?

Next, Kamala Harris.

No box.

None.

Are Americans not Googling the California Democratic Senator? Doubtful. Why is she being treated differently in the Google search results, at least for me?

So I tried Bernie Sanders.

Again, similar, depressing results.

I moved on to Beto O’Rourke:

Seriously?

Finally, Pete Buttigig.

Just like Kamala Harris, no “People also ask” box.

Why?

Again, perhaps these results are just specific to Google’s results for me, but maybe not.

And regardless, why isn’t the format the same for all candidates?

Is this the best we can do?

No.

If you’re actually interested in learning about the 2020 presidential candidates, here are some better resources, most of which as a journalist I use regularly.

OnTheIssues – one of the absolute best and most comprehensive for political candidates’ longterm history.

Ballotpedia – a great resource for learning about state and federal races, they do a good job of keeping up with daily developments in the presidential campaigns too.

Want to get into the polling data? RealClearPolitics, which leans right in its reporting, does an excellent job of laying out the polling numbers.

FactCheck.org, which says it’s “a nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”

Of course, hopefully you visit NCRM daily (at least!). use the search box at the top of our page to find what we’ve reported on various candidates. Feel free to sign up for our daily newsletter. And stay involved. Ask questions. Get multiple answers. Make informed decisions.

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Graham: Shutdown Talk Goals Are ‘Not to Open up the Government’

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Senator Lindsey Graham

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claims that shutdown talks between congressional leaders and the Trump Administration are not actually to open up the government.

“It was pretty clear to me that we’re never going to get a deal unless we get a wall as part of it,” said Graham, citing recent discussions he has had with the president, before attempting to lay the blame at the feet of the “radical left.”

We’re having to negotiate with people who are seeing the border patrol as gassing our children, rather than as professional law enforcement officers,” claimed Graham, attempting to say that negotiations are stalled because the left is more focused on a desire to “abolish ICE” rather than open the government.

“As long as the radical left is in charge, we’re not going to get anywhere,” Graham said. “He (President Trump) is willing to compromise, but he will not capitulate. So that’s where we’re at.”

Graham also seemed to push the notion of a border wall as only a part of a comprehensive national security plan, and backed the notion of it being a “steel barrier” versus a concrete wall.

Graham was unwilling to budge on the notion of reopening the government and paying the roughly 800,000 federal workers currently going without pay before making a determination on a border wall, again claiming that it was democrats who were being unreasonable.

“The democrats see our law enforcement officers as the problem, we see the illegal immigrants, the coyotes, and the illegal drug dealers as the problem,” said Graham.

“What about the people who work for homeland security who are carrying out the policies you’re talking about and who are not going to get paid,” interjected host Margaret Brennan. “What about the Coast Guard?”

“They’re being held hostage by people who say you need one dollar to secure the border,” replied Graham, citing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim she would only offer one dollar to the construction of a southern border wall.

Brennan asked, “So you don’t want to open the government and the continue talking?”

“I do want to open the government,” replied Graham, “but the goal is not to open up the government. The goal is to fix a broken immigration system.”

View the exchange below.

Image via screen capture from video source.

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President of LGBTQ Dating App Defends Saying Marriage Is ‘Holy Matrimony Between a Man and a Woman’

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The head of the world’s largest LGBTQ dating app says he believes marriage is a religious rite meant only to be between one man and one woman. Grindr president Scott Chen made the stunning announcement on his personal Facebook page. And in another twist, the news was first reported by INTO, the news outlet owned by Grindr.

“There are people who believe that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. I agree but that’s none of our business,” Chen wrote in a version translated for the INTO article. “There are also people who believe that the purpose of marriage is to create children that carry their DNA. That’s also none of our business. There are people that are simply different from you, who desperately want to get married. They have their own reasons.”

INTO reports Chen deleted the comment, but it subsequently “reappeared.” Below is a screenshot taken Friday morning for this article:

Chen’s remarks were in response to an article he had posted, titled, “HTC Founder’s Non-Profit Backed Anti-Gay Groups Fighting Marriage Equality in Taiwan.” HTC is a Taiwan-based cell phone manufacturer.

He also wrote that marriage is a “personal issue” and asked why people wouldn’t “donate your money to places that are in dire hunger, poverty, or suffering from war,” rather than to anti-LGBT causes, as INTO noted.

“Why spend all that money to stop people who love each other from getting married? Aren’t there more important stuff in life?”

In a subsequent comment “Chen called himself a ‘huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since I was young.’ He also wrote: ‘I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.'”

And now Chen is defending his remarks.

“The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” Chen said, as CNN reports. “I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage.”

Image via Wikimedia

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