The video featured someone selectively testing Google’s autocorrect feature, claiming that it was not showing results like “Hillary Clinton criminal” when “Hillary Clinton cr,” was typed in, while other search engines, like Bing, returned different results.
The theory was debunked quickly by numerous news outlets, which pointed to selective examples and a basic misunderstanding of how Google’s algorithm worked. Rhea Drysdale, the chief executive of Outspoken Media, a digital company that specializes in search engine optimization, laid out the examples in a Medium post.
Google did not respond immediately to requests for comment on Wednesday, but when the conspiracy theory first made headlines, a company spokeswoman told CNN, “Our autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name. Google autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how autocomplete works.”