Twitter, Facebook and Google “are burying” the FBI’s criminal investigation of Clinton, tweeted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. According to Trump, if you have not heard the news that the FBI is looking into new emails related to Hillary Clinton, then social media platforms are hiding it.
Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2016
FBI/Clinton story was trending on Twitter
On October 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress that the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have found new emails relevant to its inquiry into the private email server that Clinton used while secretary of state. The FBI is planning to review those new emails to check if they contain classified information.
There is no proper evidence to support Trump’s claim that social media platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter buried this story in the first couple days after it became public. When Politifact asked the Trump campaign for its evidence, they gave no response. The FBI story broke on Friday, so it did compete on social networking sites with the World Series and users’ upcoming Halloween plans, but the topic was clearly popular, notes Politifact.
Jen Golbeck, a social networking expert and University of Maryland professor, said Twitter has no algorithm to emphasize or suppress stories. Users see everything posted by the users they follow in their feeds. If the Republican candidate was referring to Twitter’s “Moments,” then the FBI story can be seen on an accessible archived screenshot of the “Moments” homepage the evening before he made his claim, notes Politifact.
The hashtags #FBI, #ClintonEmails, and #Comey have increased in popularity over the past week, especially since the story came out, according to the Twitter trend-tracking website Hashtagify.
No proper evidence to support Trump’s claim
As for Google, it can suppress topics by making some changes to its algorithm, but the search giant denies it did this in relation to the election, notes Politifact. Facebook cannot be pinned down easily. The social media giant has the ability to highlight or suppress stories by tweaking its algorithm, but no one has shown evidence that the social networking site did this with the Clinton emails/FBI story. Neither the Republican candidate Trump himself nor anyone else has produced any evidence to back Trump’s claim.
“We found nothing to support the idea that the three tech and social media companies reduced the visibility of the latest developments in the Clinton email controversy. Meanwhile, we’ve found plenty of evidence to contradict Trump’s claim,” said Politifact.