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Google shadowbans news about Minnesota violence in its search results for “riots today”

Other search engines provide news about the Minnesota riots when the same search term is used.
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News about the two nights of violence that erupted in Minnesota following the police shooting of Daunte Wright has been almost totally purged from the Google Search news tab results for the term “riots today.”

With the exception of a single news story from Fox News, which is buried below the fold four results down, the results are dominated by news stories about the less relevant January 6 storming of the US Capitol and riots in Montreal following COVID-19 curfews.

Numerous news outlets that are often featured in the Google Search news tab results for other stories have provided regular updates on the unrest and used the keywordriots” in the headlines of their news stories.

Yet apart from the previously mentioned story from Fox News, no other news coverage of the Minnesota riots can be found on the first page of these Google Search news tab results when searching for “riots today.”

Searching for the same “riots today” term in the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo does display unfiltered news stories about the Minnesota violence in its news tab results with eight of the top 10 results covering the unrest in Minnesota.

Interestingly, the Google Search news tab results for “protests today” are dominated by coverage of the unrest in Minnesota with six of the top 10 results covering the story. The shadowban is only triggered when the searcher characterizes the recent events in Minnesota as “riots.”

Google’s implementation of this shadowban comes amid mainstream media reporters scolding a police chief during a press conference after he used the term “riot” to describe the violence that had broken out in a Minneapolis suburb. Several mainstream media outlets have also been criticized for refraining from using the term “riot” in their coverage of the unrest in Minnesota and instead opting for softer terms.

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