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Trump scorns Google after viral video claims search feature is biased

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee reportedly calls out Google for the autocomplete function in its search engine. Google says it "does not favor any candidate or cause."

Trump reportedly criticized Google for its autocomplete function.
Trump reportedly criticized Google for its autocomplete function.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There's a viral video going around that asserts Google has manipulated its autocomplete function in favor of Hillary Clinton.

On Friday, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, reportedly called out the search giant. "If this is true, it is a disgrace that Google would do that," Trump said, according to a report Friday by Business Insider. "Very, very dishonest."

Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The video, by pop-culture-news site SourceFed, cites examples related to Google's autocomplete function, which tries to predict what kind of search query a user will enter after typing in a few letters. The video points out that when someone types "Hillary Clinton cri," it will not predict someone is trying to search for "Hillary Clinton crimes." Instead it suggests things like "Hillary Clinton crime reform."

Google denied there's any bias in the feature.

"Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works," a Google spokeswoman said.

"Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person's name. More generally, our autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity of search terms."

A person familiar with the matter said that "crime" is a part of that "offensive or disparaging" list of terms. For example, not even a search for "Al Capone cri" would autocomplete to "Al Capone crime."