Emails between Google employees appear to show them discussing ways to alter the company's search engine algorithm so that results pages detailed ways of countering President Donald Trump's travel ban, after his administration restricted immigration from several Middle Eastern and African countries in January 2017.
The messages, seen by the Wall Street Journal, discussed ways to "leverage" the search algorithm to counter "Islamophobic, algorithmically-biased results from search terms 'Islam,' 'Muslim,' 'Iran,' etc." and "prejudiced, algorithmically-biased search results from search terms 'Mexico,' 'Hispanic,' 'Latino,' etc."
The emails were a brainstorm of ideas and none of the suggested tweaks was ever implemented, Google told the Journal.
A company spokeswoman told CNBC in an emailed statement: "Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology — not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump's executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies."