In November 2017 we uncovered a concerning link between the internet’s search engine giant, Google, and one of the UK’s dominant right-wing newspapers, the Daily Telegraph.
We were alerted to this connection after an unprecedented lifting of the Daily Telegraph’s malicious and inaccurate article that attacked our regulating organisation IMPRESS. Long a voracious opponent to IMPRESS, the Telegraph spotted a weak spot by taking advantage of our founder’s history and warped this to aid their campaign. The article went from appearing on page 8 of Google for searches of ‘Arkbound’ to coming near the top of page 1, in the space of only a few weeks. This also occurred over 10 months after it was published.
What makes this drastic lifting even stranger is that, throughout the entire article, there is only one mention of Arkbound. Moreover, all other search engines list it far from page 1 – in most cases, behind page 10. There is no clear reason for this based on Google’s own search engine policies, either, because there are a preponderance of other more recent and relevant articles about Arkbound, which also feature Arkbound rather than just being a passing mention. Many of these links are from authoritative sources, yet they continue to be placed below the Telegraph article.
We decided to do some digging and discovered some shocking correlations with other Telegraph articles during the EU Referendum and 2017 UK General Election. Over both these periods, articles from the Telegraph – campaigning for Brexit and attacking the Labour Party leader – were consistently placed high up on Google search results, usually at the very top.
We have reached the conclusion that Google and the Telegraph Media Group have an undisclosed agreement and have alerted other more neutral media outlets in an attempt to elicit the truth. What makes such an apparent link highly objectionable is that the Telegraph remains the UK’s most inaccurate media outlet, as found by its own ‘regulator’, and was fined for illegal political canvassing during the 2017 UK General Election. With editorial perspectives that often veer right of the Daily Mail, this newspaper has a track record of poor journalistic standards, as revealed by its own former employees. It has consistently acted as a political springboard for the Conservative Party, condemning any figure that represents a challenge to right-wing perspectives – from Nelson Mandella to Labour Party leaders – or who can be demonised by right-wing rhetoric. Its two billionaire-owner twins, the Barclay brothers, have also been implicated in serious tax evasion and even maliciously removed the sole doctor of a small British island because residents objected to their conduct. All these facts are widely reported and verified – although you may wish to research them using another search engine.
We call upon Google to end any agreements that impede upon search engine impartiality and Google’s own ethical policies to ‘do no evil’.
To read more about the Google-Telegraph connection, visit https://medium.com/@boundless_50018/latest