Google’s bias in favor of Saudi Arabia

If I google ‘”Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen”, then I get a long list of articles that mostly discuss Yemen attacking Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi attacks on Yemen have resulted in a horrific loss of life, whereas Yemen’s attack on Saudi Arabia didn’t kill anyone. What does this tell us? Does Google prioritize oil or human life?

And what is Google, if not the zeitgeist of the western world?



9 Responses to “Google’s bias in favor of Saudi Arabia”

  1. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    18. September 2019 at 12:37

    Google’s gaming of their search engine got so bad that I stopped using it a few years ago. Bing is good, DuckDuckGo is good.

    In this case, using DuckDuckGo as a test case, the first result is for the war against Yemen, but the rest are for the drone attacks.

    The search bias might be due to the association each word has with recent web traffic. Blame the media for not covering the genocidal war against the Houthis, that’s what produces the signal these search engines need to operate. But yes, Google is corrupt, hopefully Purism makes a dent into the Android market.

  2. Gravatar of Andrew Andrew
    18. September 2019 at 13:17

    The first response I get is the Wikipedia article for Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen.

    In what manner do you think that Google in biased in favor of Saudi Arabia? Do you think there’s an intentional PR initiative within the company to promote Saudi interests, in return for cash? It seems more likely that natural language is hard, and the media writes a lot of stories casting Yemen in a negative light.

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    18. September 2019 at 15:07

    Justin, I don’t think they are corrupt, and Google is vastly superior to Bing.

    Andrew, I was being sarcastic. I assume Google is reflecting the bias in the broader society. I doubt the leadership of Google is intentionally aiding Saudi Arabia.

  4. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    18. September 2019 at 17:33

    Judging by some of your recent posts musing about the zeitgeist has become part of the zeitgeist.

  5. Gravatar of Russ Abbott Russ Abbott
    18. September 2019 at 19:07

    Couldn’t resist trying it. I Googled: ”Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen”. Here are the first page results.

    Category:Yemen – A Closer Look On Syria … See also Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen. Explainers of the recent history of the Yemeni conflict. …

    Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen. From A Closer Look On Syria. …

    Default Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen. The Western backed Monarchy of Saudi Arabia has started bombing Yemen and the Houthis movement …

    Last night, Saudi Arabia, along with its allies, attacked the rebels’ stronghold in Yemen. …

    Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen Summary: Saudi Arabia bombs Sanaa and other targets in Yemen, aiming to restore the government of President Hadi. …

    Of course with the quotes, my query asked for those words in that order. So it’s not surprising I got them.

  6. Gravatar of Chuck Chuck
    19. September 2019 at 00:32


  7. Gravatar of derek derek
    19. September 2019 at 05:30

    Realizing that this post is a little tongue-in-cheek, note that you have not defined your search well, i.e. Google will search for combinations of “saudi”, “arabia”, “attacks”, and “yemen”, not necessarily occurring that order (but probably with a slight preference for that order and with a slight preference for the earlier words, not to match timeliness, etc. – who knows exactly what the algorithm is these days). Anyway, a search of “”saudi arabia attacks yemen”” will be more focused on the Saudi attacks against Yemen and less about Trump not being good at foreign policy.

  8. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    19. September 2019 at 15:09

    Your wording doesn’t say anything about Google bias (or “bias in the broader society”) but everything about your bias.

    When did Saudi Arabia attack Yemen? Did the world miss something? This must be a HUGE conspiracy going on. Oh those guys at Google, what are they hiding???

    You’ve said in the past that you don’t like Chomsky. Then don’t act like him all the time. It’s ridiculous.

    Maybe it’s not so fortunate after all that America is the world’s last democratic hegemon.

    If your foreign policy views and knowledge are representative of the views and knowledge of an average American, then the future of the world really doesn’t look good.

    The outlook might be even worse, because you are relatively educated, relatively intelligent. You’re probably in the top 5% of Americans regarding intelligence and education. If we assume the average American is only half as crazy as you are in foreign policy terms, then the world would really be screwed.

    Let’s hope the average American thinks differently. Or at least that the decision makers in the Pentagon and the State Department think differently.

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    19. September 2019 at 19:57

    Christian, You said:

    “When did Saudi Arabia attack Yemen?”

    You are even less well informed than I had assumed. But keep up your defense of the brutal Saudi regime; I enjoy each and every one of your comments, and file them away for future use.

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