Google discussed promoting pro-immigration sites after Trump’s travel ban
LOS ANGELES: Google employees discussed their influence to promote pro-immigration websites after President Trump imposed his controversial travel ban last January.
According to reports, Google staff members talked about the ‘importance’ of promoting these websites so that internet users could donate to them.
Their plan did not go into effect after warnings from executives that it was a ‘highly political’ issue which they should not be seen getting in the middle of.
Trump implemented his ban on travel to the US in seven Middle Eastern and African countries.
One Google employee said they believed the search results afterward Trump’s ban generated ‘islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms Islam, Muslim, Iran’. etc.’
They said: ‘I know this would require a full on sprint to make happen, but I think this is the sort of super timely and imperative information that we need as we know that this country and Google, would not exist without immigration.’
They considered going to similar lengths for ‘Mexico, Hispanic, Latino’, etc.
They suggested an ‘overall idea’ which was to ‘leverage search to highlight important organizations to donate to, current news, etc. to keep people abreast of how they can help as well as the resources available for immigration or people traveling.’
But another warned caution, saying: ‘Very much in favor of Google stepping up, but just have a few questions on this including how partisan we want to be on this.
‘Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology — not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
‘Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies,’ the spokesman said.
It was one of many companies which publicly stated its disapproval of the ban and one of its co-founders Sergey Brin has attended anti-Trump rallies on the issue in the past too.
The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is also an immigrant.