Donald Trump has accused Google of rigging its search results to make him look bad.
People who search for the latest news about the president are in fact being shown intentionally damaging stories, he claimed.
Mr Trump even suggested that the search giant could be prosecuted for not showing enough positive stories.
“Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” he wrote on Twitter. “In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?”
He also suggested that he had studied the results on a search for “Trump news” and concluded that almost all were “left-wing”. It is not clear where that figure came from, and it does not appear to match up with what appears on that results page at the moment.
“96 per cent of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous,” he continued. “Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
The search results that appear on any Google page are decided by an algorithm that brings in a whole host of factors, many of which remain known only to Google itself. Results are also influenced by previous browsing and search history, and that may be happening to the president.
The company has looked to alter some of the ways it decides what to show in the wake of complaints about false news, and suggestions that the search results were showing partisan or misleading news sources.
At the moment, searching for “Trump news” brings up stories from a wide-range of sources.
Mr Trump sent the post at 5.30am local time, apparently after having searched his own name. He is known to be continually interested in coverage of himself.
The president and those around him have launched a number of attacks on both Google and other tech companies in recent weeks. Many firms such as Apple and Facebook have opted to remove far-right voices such as Alex Jones from their platforms, which has led to criticism from Mr Trump.
Last month, he wrote a long rant on Twitter about how he claimed right-wing voices were being shut down on the platform.
“Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices,” he wrote. “Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others…….
“…..Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all..
“….Too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad, and that cannot be allowed to happen. Who is making the choices, because I can already tell you that too many mistakes are being made. Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”>