During a congressional grilling of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai this week, the tech titan was asked by Republican congresswoman Zoe Lofgren why Trump's image appeared when you search the term "idiot".
“Right now, if you google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” she said. “How would that happen?”
Here was Pichai's response:
Any time you type in a keyword, as Google we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of [websites’] pages in our index. And we take the keyword and match it against their pages and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best search results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external raters, and they evaluate it to objective guidelines. And that’s how we make sure the process is working.
According to Google Trends, "idiot" is currently ranked the most searched for term in America. And if you parse Pichai's response, what he is really saying is simple: Trump image comes up when you search for "idiot" because most Americans believe he is an idiot.
And why, you ask, do most Americans believe Trump is an idiot? Two pieces of evidence should suffice:
Remember, this is the president of the United States -- a man holding the highest office in the land who is still, at 72 years of age, cannot spell. And if that was not enough, here are Trump's staff in their own words describing the president:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis:
He [Trump] has the understanding of a “a fifth- or sixth-grader."
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly:
He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.
Omarosa Manigault Newman:
A “racist, misogynist and bigot.”
Former White House Chief Reince Priebus:
Former economic adviser Gary Cohn:
“Dumb as shit.”
Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster:
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:
It isn't just the majority of Americans who believe Trump is mentally incompetent then -- it is his own people and his own party. Google is not rigging search results to equate the president with stupidity, it is just showing us what we already know.