Twitter users searching for the word “loser” on Saturday have been getting Donald Trump as their first result. The platform denied that this was intentional, saying that it’s how its search tools work.
Trump began popping up as a “loser” in Twitter’s “People” search tab after his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, declared victory in the US presidential election on Saturday. The Democratic candidate addressed the nation after several major television networks called the battleground state of Pennsylvania for the 77-year-old, which put him beyond the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Biden’s Twitter handle has become the top search result for “winner” on the platform.
If you search “loser” on twitter, Donald Trump is the first person thar will come up and I think that’s beautiful pic.twitter.com/AEn5kll7Qt
— bea (@calm_hemmo96) November 7, 2020
Twitter denied speculation that this was a kind of ‘easter egg,’ planted by the company, which conservatives have long accused of bias and perceived sympathy towards Democrats.
Twitter’s search results are automatically generated based on how people are using the terms in their tweets at a certain time, the company said in a statement. “If an account is mentioned often alongside certain terms, they can become algorithmically surfaced together as an association. These associations are temporal and ever changing based on how people tweet,” the statement read.
Twitter has been slapping “disclaimers” on tweets regarding the outcome of the election. However, while it added a warning to Trump’s tweet, in which he claimed he won the election, Biden’s tweet saying he was “honored” that Americans had chosen him, did not get the same treatment.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.
The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
Instagram, for its part, is showing its users in the US a special banner, informing them that Biden is projected to win the presidential election.
While Biden’s victory announcement sparked a steam of statements from foreign leaders congratulating the former VP on his apparent triumph, the Trump campaign has already mounted a range of lawsuits to challenge the outcome of the election, alleging multiple irregularities, including that Republican observers were allegedly barred from polling stations and that some ballots were illegally backdated.
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The final result of the election will not be known until electoral votes are certified in December, or until Trump concedes.
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