A former NYTimes reporter and novelist accused Google of owning an ideological bias. He cited a lookup for “socialism and racism” that returns effects that include things like “capitalism.” Google stated why this took place.

Socialism and Racism

The look for phrase “socialism and racism” also returns final results for “capitalism.” Some took it as evidence that the search results have a leftist bias.

Below is the unique tweet:

Some pointed out that DuckDuckGo and Bing really do not comprise benefits for capitalism in a search about socialism and racism. 

Screenshot of Bing Research Effects for “Socialism and Racism”

Screenshot of Bing search results

Google Clarifies Look for Outcome

Google’s Lookup Liaison, Danny Sullivan, responded by tweeting an clarification why Google includes effects for the term “capitalism” in a lookup for “socialism and racism.”


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Danny responded in a tweet:

“By default, Google quickly appears for linked phrases, normally beneficial as creators may possibly not use the similar text as searchers. Which is what’s taking place. The label is to explicitly inform searchers, in case they want to limit the enlargement. A lot more in this article:

Danny Sullivan then one-way links to a graphic that shows how text employed in a look for query can be substituted with synonyms and associated words when even now conveying the same which means.

Image provided by Google illustrating query expansionSynonyms can be used to update the look for query while keeping the this means of the query the similar.

Which is what “query expansion” is about, to discover web pages that response the issue, no matter whether or not they use the exact terms in the lookup query.

It doesn’t make a difference if another person utilizes the word angler or fisherman, equally words and phrases describe the exact same matter. By executing query enlargement, Google can widen its lookup for the ideal solution.


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In standard this enhances the search outcomes.

But not in this situation.

Several customers on Twitter voiced their displeasure with search success that involve the term, “capitalism” for a query that has absolutely nothing to do with capitalism.

Danny Sullivan answered the dilemma from his official Google SearchLiaison Twitter account.


“When exploring on Google, by default we immediately also lookup for any synonyms & relevant words to what was entered, as this is normally beneficial. Yesterday, our units that do this elevated fears we have been intentionally making some ideological statement. This was not the case…”

Followed by:

“If Google only returned files that contained the exact text entered in a research, we would skip exhibiting pertinent content material. For illustration, “change” as utilised by a searcher could are unsuccessful to match files that chat about “replace” or “exchange” or “adjust” as penned by a creator…”


“This style of query enlargement occurs consistently. But in some situations, we detect the top rated results returned may well be even more away in partnership to the initial phrases entered. In these kinds of situations, we quickly label that a broader growth is taking place & provide an override option….”

Google SearchLiaison then linked to the subsequent examples:

Examples of Query Expansion in Google Research

Screenshot of examples of query expansion in Google searchScreenshot of query enlargement examples in Google lookup

Google then described that the motive “capitalism” was integrated in a lookup that is about “socialism” is since the two terms are “closely relevant.”

Some may possibly arguably sense that capitalism and socialism are not intently similar but rather broadly relevant. And for that reason, many customers have been unhappy by the look for final result that involved capitalism.

Google discussed more:


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In the close, Google SearchLiaison implied the possiblity of working with this feed-back to boost.

Do Google Search Final result Present a Leftist Bias?

Google SearchLiaison tweeted that they use comments to enhance their units.

“Overall, these styles of expansions are generally beneficial for lookups. Nevertheless, we know they are not always great. That is why we notify when a broader a person happens. And we use comments as with this scenario to see if we can improve our automated programs even more.”

Some are interpreting that the “Socialism and Racism” look for consequence as evidence of a leftist bias from Google.

Google claims it is their query enlargement algorithm that is responsible, not a political bias.


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Nonetheless, contemplating that DuckDuckGo and Bing don’t show very similar success, it may possibly be the circumstance that Google’s lookup end result might not be a notably satisfying 1.