Google promotes Turkish pro-government media - report

Google’s algorithm promotes Turkey’s pro-government media over independent outlets in news-based searches, a new report by International Press Institute (IPI) revealed.

More than 90 percent of results that showed up in the "top stories" slot on the Google search page were from Hürriyet, Milliyet and Sabah, three pro-government dailies, Bianet reported on Saturday, citing the IPI report.

Meanwhile ,73.8 percent of results were comprised of the pro-government outlets in Google News, which has a different algorithm, it said.

The figures show that Google gives Turkey’s independent media a notable low visibility, the report said.

According to the report, Google also amplifies pro-government media outlets' hate speech and disinformation against Turkish civil society figures.

The report exemplifies this with the appearance of articles targeting Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been jailed in a pre-trial detention since 2017. 

Some 90 percent of major media in Turkey is now owned by the state or is close to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which has led a years-long crackdown on opposition outlets in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt.