Is HubPages politically biased?

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  1. TimArends profile image89
    TimArendsposted 4 years ago

    I have written a pro-president Trump hub. I wrote it in the weeks after the election but before the inauguration. it is interesting to see how my predictions are turning out. The hub is entitled "No joke! 50 Ways Donald Trump will make America great again.” … reat-Again

    When I first posted it, I got a slight bump in traffic and a few comments when it appeared on the “New hubs” section. I thought it would get good traffic because it was very timely and comprehensive.

    Actually, that's untrue. I really suspected it would get fairly poor traffic because so much of the media -- including online media -- is intensely biased against conservatives and President Trump. Still, one can hope.

    After the initial spate of comments, there has been little activity. There have been about ten votes in my poll, (including my own).

    Okay, I reasoned, maybe I'm not the world's most effective hubber and maybe there are a lot of other Pro-Trump hubs competing for attention. But when I visited my Hub and looked at the related hubs in the sidebar, I found so many negative anti-Trump hubs.

    Okay, there are a lot of people who hate the current president, so that is not surprising. But of course, my Hub is showing up on their hubs, I thought. After all, if anti-Trump hubs show up on my Hub, then surely my hub should show up in the same “Related” section on these anti-Trump hubs.

    So I decided to do a little surfing around in the “United States politics” section of HubPages and looking at the “Related” section. Not once did I ever see my Hub appear on these anti-Trump hubs. What's more, I saw very few pro-Trump hubs listed.

    The argument might be, “There are just so many more anti-Trump hubs than pro-Trump hubs, so what do you expect? Well, wouldn't this be reason to at least promote the pro-Trump hubs occasionally for balance?

    The fact is, this is not the reason for the imbalance. In looking at the new hubs, I see more hubs that could be seen as favorable towards Trump than unfavorable. It becomes clear that there is a deliberate pattern of bias on HubPages.

    in looking at the hubs in the related section, I see an intense pattern of hatred and vitriol towards the president. Let's look at some of the titles:

    “A compilation of Donald Trump's Campaign lies, misleading statements, and exaggerations.” (Obviously, extremely hostile.)

    In the related section on that hub:” The new normal: How the 2016 election cycle changed American politics” - neutral?

    “How Donald Trump used the law of attraction to win the election” - presumably neutral

    “American politics: The big lie in politics from the Republican Presidential convention” - negative

    “Republicans and Trump: How they beat the truth” - negative

    “Does President Donald Trump have a mental illness?” (under the popular section) - Extremely hostile

    Okay, let's click on one of the negative hubs. I'll choose the last one.

    In the related section of that hub there are hubs on narcissistic personality disorder but nothing Pro-Trump.

    Clicking on “Republicans and Trump: How they beat the truth”, I see again, “A compilation of Donald Trump's Campaign lies, misleading statements and exaggerations” and “Does President Donald Trump have a mental illness?” Under the “Popular” section I see “Could Hillary Clinton win the presidency in 2016?”

    Clicking on “The New Normal: how the 2016 election cycle changed American politics,” in the “Related” section I see, again, “American politics: The big lie in politics from the Republican Presidential convention” and “Why did Hillary Clinton lose the race?” by the same author. Below that, I see “Aesop weeps: liberalism, identity politics and the 2016 election” - apparently Pro conservative or at least neutral.

    I see the same pattern again and again: negative hubs in the “Latest” section but very rarely positive ones. Again, this is not because positive hubs are not being written. I know that, because I wrote a positive hub. Also, in the New Hubs section, I see “Why Do You Hate Donald Trump?” a pro-Trump hub, and “Strzok Strikes Out” (in “Related:” “Trump Conspired With the Russians to Violate US Election Law”). And I never seen my own hub suggested, even though on my hub I see the hateful ones suggested all the time.

    I know there is a vast amount of bias in the media, including online media. Also, I note that HubPages is headquartered in San Francisco, the most liberal city in the United States. However, this egregious bias is so blatant and obvious it can hardly be ignored.

    The American public is getting wise to the bias in the media, which is why the media is rapidly losing credibility. The media, including sites like HubPages,is only going to succeed in destroying itself if they lose their credibility and veneer of impartiality. Who is going to want to write for a site if they know that their articles will be shadowbanned or hidden? The only people who are going to visit such a site are those it already agree with the politics presented, which means the site will only end up preaching to the converted.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image89
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      This is just my personal opinion so take it for what it is worth.  First, this article is way too long.  Internet readers like their info fast and to the point or you will lose them.  Second, you complain the HP is biased, but your article is biased.  So, you're going to lose  whatever percentage of people don't agree with your point of view.  Third, you only have placed 18 hubs on this site in 7 years.  That's not nearly enough for you to be considered an expert or even enthusiast on the topic of politics...which makes your hub look like an opinion post rather than a professionally done research post.  HP is a business.  They're going to highlight articles that bring in money.  This type of post really doesn't fall into that category, so obviously it would not be their first choice.  Also, if they don't think people will read it, they're going to use their site space to put more popular articles into highlighted areas.  The bottom line isn't that HP is biased, it's that your article simply did not rank well with Google.  Also, it's not evergreen...meaning it's old news basically.  Nobody wants to read yesterday's newspaper!  As I said, this is just my opinion, but I think I'm correct in most of what I say.  To do well here you have to put tons of hubs on site that are evergreen, respond to people's needs, are searchable and are short enough to keep a reader's attention.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image94
      Christy Kirwanposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Tim,

      The articles that show up in the Related section are chosen by algorithm based on a number of metrics including things like the amount of search traffic they receive and quality ratings given by readers.

      1. TimArends profile image89
        TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        It’s hard for readers to give positive ratings to hubs that they never see.

        1. GwennyOh profile image92
          GwennyOhposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Your best bet is to pay attention. What qualities do articles that people do want to read have? Keep in mind though, that Trump is a sore spot for a lot of people. You could not easily sell someone a chunk of raw liver, when it's sitting right next to a steak and lobster dinner.

          You have written on a topic that if you asked people what they thought of the subject of it, they'd have nary a nice word to say, and yet you're wondering why no traffic. You suggest that others do get traffic, with similar topic matter. That's where styling comes in. Go for shorter pieces to keep people's attention, go for an easy to read quality, as that means a lot to plenty of people.

          Pay attention to the pieces people read, is the main thing.

          1. TimArends profile image89
            TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            So basically, you’re saying that those who write pro-conservative articles tend to write poor articles, which is why they rarely show up, while those who write pro-liberal articles tend to write excellent articles, which is why they primarily show up?

            1. GwennyOh profile image92
              GwennyOhposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              I have no idea how you got that, as that's not what I said, nor is it an element of what I said. I will offer a point that was previously omitted to clarify. Your article is about Trump making America great again, when we can see a trend that is not in line with that. How is that going to draw traffic? How about that those who write the best and most sought after articles, no matter where they stand politically, are the ones whose articles show up.

            2. profile image0
              promisemposted 4 years agoin reply to this


            3. Jean Bakula profile image95
              Jean Bakulaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Hi Tim,
              Political and opinion articles draw attention, but you have to realize you will also draw attention from those who disagree with you on opinion pieces. HP has people from all over not only the U.S., but all over the world, so it's not biased because the company is based in San Francisco. I write about astrology and metaphysics, and most of my traffic comes from Britain, India, and Australia. Although they have opinions on Trump too.

              I would try to improve the article in ways others have suggested here, and see if you can get it on the niche of Soapboxie, or one of the topical niches. Also, the article is not Evergreen, it's a little outdated now that he is a year and a half into his Presidency. It needs to be updated to what he is doing NOW. I see many conservative Trump hubs here. Also, Trump is a hot topic all over the world now, and not very well liked by many. There may be too many articles written about him, and sometimes a topic gets oversaturated. I think this is your problem.

              Your traffic doesn't come from Hubpages. It comes from Google. It doesn't matter if thousands of people here read it, you won't make any money unless you get traffic from search engines. This has nothing to do with being conservative or liberal, it's not knowing how to get traffic. So try to do a rewrite and make the article better. The Title is not good. But keep on writing and trying. The more you write, the more you get recognized. Google likes longer articles, just fix it up more. Good luck.

        2. CatherineGiordano profile image78
          CatherineGiordanoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          How does a reader rate a hub? There was a way when I first joined four years ago, but I thought that feature was long gone.

          1. Christy Kirwan profile image94
            Christy Kirwanposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            We occasionally ask a small sampling of random readers from search to rate the article they are reading. HubPages authors don't frequently land on articles from search engines, so many have never seen this query.

            1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
              CatherineGiordanoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Thank you for your reply. When the religious read my atheist posts, I bet a get a bad review even when the article is very good. And my political posts could get a bad review from people who disagree just because they disagree. Maybe I should stick to writing about honeybees.

              1. Christy Kirwan profile image94
                Christy Kirwanposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                Our algorithms balance reader reviews with our own internal quality metrics. We can tell when articles have near perfect grammar and crisp, clear photos, for example. We also take into account things like the length of time readers remain on the page. Reader ratings are just one of many factors that weigh in on the quality ratings and placement of articles. If your articles are doing well, I wouldn't stress about it.

                1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
                  CatherineGiordanoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Thank you. I assume all of the factors you mention go into the hub score. My articles on  controversial subjects all have good hub scores. So I won't worry it.

            2. phuketravel profile image59
              phuketravelposted 4 years agoin reply to this


        3. melbel profile image94
          melbelposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          People will most likely get to your hubs from Google. Very few people browse HubPages for something to read. Work on making your article more appealing to readers.

    3. crankalicious profile image91
      crankaliciousposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Holy smokes, is everything a conspiracy?

      It seems rather simple to me, you've written on a topic that has thousands of articles about it written every day by reputable sites with tons of traffic, so every day your article gets pushed farther and farther down Google's rankings.

    4. profile image0
      promisemposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      With all due respect, there is a critical lack in the article of any search engine optimization, references to credible sources and author expertise in the subject.

      All of these factors undermine any rankings on HP, display on HP homepages or high rankings in any of the major search engines.

      I had to write many travel articles that got high audience numbers before they started getting better play on HP sites.

      The Soapboxie homepage changes with every refresh. If people write more articles against Trump than for Trump, the homepage will show more anti Trump articles, especially if they are getting more views than pro Trump articles.

      And if you look at the forums, you will see they are filled with pro-Trump comments.

    5. hairsalongalway profile image57
      hairsalongalwayposted 4 years agoin reply to this


      1. theraggededge profile image96
        theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        ??? Here for some self-promotion? It's not permitted.

  2. Marketing Merit profile image96
    Marketing Meritposted 4 years ago

    I think the problem lies more with your SEO than it does with any political bias Tim.
    I would remove 'no joke' from your title to begin with. Also, you refer to 50 ways, yet do not number your points accordingly. You should revisit your snippet and make it sound more appealing. This is what shows up in Google search results and you need to tempt readers in.
    I haven't had chance to read the hub in depth, as it is rather long, but you need to get this on a niche site if you want your traffic to improve.
    Good luck!

  3. theraggededge profile image96
    theraggededgeposted 4 years ago

    Tim, you said you'd, “surfed around United States politics” section of HubPages and looking at the “Related” section."

    However, the hubs left on Hubpages are usually (not always) low quality. The best place to look is Soapboxie:

    1. TimArends profile image89
      TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I’m seeing the same bias on Soapboxie. Looking at the home page, I see a number of anti-conservative articles:

      Trump Was Always Going to Pick the Wrong Judge

      21 Truths That Prove Republicans Have Been Wrong About Everything

      Debunking the Claim That Republicans and Democrats Switched Sides on Race

      Ideology: How America Lost Its Mind to [conservative] Propaganda

      How Did the GOP Take Over the Federal and State Governments?

      All pretty clearly anti-conservative. In fact, I don’t see a single one that’s blatantly pro-conservative or anti-liberal.

      Then if you click on any of them and look at the related section, you see a similar pattern:

      Decent Humans Wish Others a “Happy New Year”, but Trump Bids Us Hate.

      Donald Trump's Abandonment of American Soft Power Politics

      The Verdict Is in: Guess Who's the Worst President in US History?

      Fifty Reasons Why Donald Trump Could Be the Worst President in History

      Trump, the Post-Truth Propagandist, Has Reduced the Presidency to Reality TV

      America Is Shifting to the Political Left

      In fact, it’s hard to find any items that are clearly pro-conservative or anti-liberal. One of the very few that I found is “Why Hillary is Far More Dangerous Than Donald Trump”

      Again, it’s not that people aren’t writing pro-conservative articles (they are), it’s that they’re clearly not being promoted.

      1. profile image0
        promisemposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        If there are 20 anti Trump articles for every 10 pro Trump articles, you will see more anti Trump articles.

  4. GwennyOh profile image92
    GwennyOhposted 4 years ago

    I was looking forward to checking your article out. I am as stickler for ease in readability though, as I have an attention deficit. To be honest, I did not make it past the first sentence, as I could not make out what you were saying.

    "Donald Trump is the most vilified by the mainstream media of any president in recent American history – even as Barack Obama was the most adored."

    It's the "even as" part that confounds me.

    As well, I am no fan of Trump, so I'd not have read it if you had not posted here.

    1. Chriswillman90 profile image91
      Chriswillman90posted 4 years ago

      I've read your entire article, and it could definitely use a second edit. I noticed quite a few grammatical/spelling and structural issues.

      That being said I did enjoy reading your article, and there were a lot of good points made however it hasn't aged well at all. It's not an evergreen article, in fact it reads as an old news article, which Google will not promote.

      While I understand your concerns about conservative viewpoints being brushed aside, I don't think it applies in this case. Your article needs a serious update to reflect today's news and more reader friendly visuals/formats that would bring more people in.

    2. Natalie Frank profile image94
      Natalie Frankposted 4 years ago

      The most important thing is to listen to what Christy said.  The articles chosen for the popular section on your article are chosen by algorithm, not randomly, personally, arbitrarily or based on biased opinion.  There are certain criteria the articles are ranked on and those that rank high, i.e. make money, get views, are well written without mistakes etc.are those that will rank high.  Pay attention to Christy's statement and improve your hub accordingly.  She mentions search traffic and quality.  If you improve the latter and make the hub evergreen you will improve the former and be more likely to get your article listed on related articles in their popular section.  It's not a conspiracy, just a business.

      1. TimArends profile image89
        TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Forget my hub entirely. My real question is, why are pro-conservative, pro-Trump hubs so rarely promoted in the related section while anti-conservative, anti-Trump hubs are so commonly promoted in the related section?

        1. theraggededge profile image96
          theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Maybe it's a numbers thing? Also the anti-Trumpers are probably more vocal.

          Anyway, even if there were a bias, HubPages can show whatever it wants to.

          1. Titia profile image91
            Titiaposted 4 years agoin reply to this


    3. Sherry Hewins profile image91
      Sherry Hewinsposted 4 years ago

      If people were searching for a hub like this, it would be doing well with or without promotion from HubPages. Search engines are where you get your real traffic.

      1. TimArends profile image89
        TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I think I know what happened.

        When the Internet was young, when it first became household word, many were talking about how it would mean “the end of tyranny” — that it would take control of opinion and news out of the hands of the establishment and put it in the hands of the people, just as many credited the fax machine with helping to bring about the end of the Soviet Union. This would make big brother impossible (as Apple predicted the computer would with it’s iconic “1984“ Super Bowl ad). 

        But a funny thing happened on the way to the end of tyranny – people discovered that the Internet actually benefited  conservatives more than liberals (that’s because the establishment media had long been dominated by the left).  Suddenly, the “end of tyranny” didn’t seem so appealing when one’s own political fortunes suffered. 

        Some time after the rise of the Internet, the term “hate speech“ was coined, as if there are certain types of speech not protected by the First Amendment. Then, after the election of Donald Trump, we suddenly started hearing the phrase “fake news“ a lot, an attempt to distract from how the establishment media got the 2016 presidential election so wrong.

        The Internet was not immune to corruption. Even sites whose original, founding purpose was to give a voice to the people (like HubPages) were having second thoughts, especially as they were bought out by establishment sources and hit by Google’s algorithm changes.

        My prediction is that effort to control the Internet won’t work, however. The Republicans will win an even bigger majority in the midterms, Trump will win a second term (and quite possibly get a third Supreme Court pick), and, best of all, the public will demand true openness and freedom on the Internet.

        1. Sherry Hewins profile image91
          Sherry Hewinsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          OK, so now it's the Internet that's biased, not just HP?

    4. DrMark1961 profile image96
      DrMark1961posted 4 years ago

      You really need to move this rant over to the topical forums. It has nothing to do with traffic, everything to do about politics.
      You are free to speak all you want. Just do it where there are other people there to listen.

      1. Chriswillman90 profile image91
        Chriswillman90posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Agree, this has obviously turned into something completely different than just an article bias.

        You can't just blame the internet or the site if your article isn't doing well, you can't blame the media or someone's political views without valid proof.

        The fact is that the article needs a lot of improvement, isn't evergreen, and it isn't on a niche site. Additionally there are more anti-Trump articles on Hubpages/Google because more people disapprove than approve of him (58/42 split).

        You can't blame the search engines when more people are writing anti-Trump articles.

    5. Daniel Mollat profile image69
      Daniel Mollatposted 4 years ago

      I have been a hubber just a little over six months. My observations may not mean much but  I have read enough comments in many forums here that makes me tend to agree there does seem to be some kind of bias in favor of liberal minded writers.

      1. profile image0
        promisemposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        HP places no control over who posts in the forums. They have a conservative emphasis some weeks and liberal other weeks depending on which writer is most active.

      2. TimArends profile image89
        TimArendsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        There will be a bias if the site is managed in a biased sort of way. When conservatives realize, consciously or unconsciously, that they’ve not welcome here they will tend to stay away. That’s what I mean by HubPages turning into another liberal echo chamber. Ultimately it will hurt sites like HubPages most of all, because they will end up driving away half their potential audience.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image95
          Jean Bakulaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          People have sincerely taken time, read your article, which needs a lot of improvement and is outdated, and you still persist in scapegoating HP as an anti Trump site. Hubpages is actually a very conservative site for free lance writers and many leave to have more writing freedom.

          Just the fact your article is not on a niche site means the article doesn't meet the writing standards of this site. It has nothing to do with political leanings, you are now looking for excuses for an article that is poorly written. Thousands of writers contribute here everyday, and Dr. Mark is trying to explain the reality to you. Don't ask for help and waste people's time if you don't want to hear the truth. We are all busy writers, and many took time here to try to help you, all help you ignore in favor of your conspiracy theory about Hubpages.

        2. theraggededge profile image96
          theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Well now you've made up your mind and determined that there is a bias that doesn't favor your point of view, you might be better publishing articles on your own personal site.

          If you aren't here to discuss your particular article and how to improve it/get more traffic (as that's the section of the forum you have posted it in), then this discussion should be held in the appropriate topical forum:

          There will be many over there who will happily support your view, as well as many others who will oppose it. You can all kinds of fun there.

    6. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

      The part of hubpages you are describing is a completely automated mashing together of keywords and they synonyms. 

      Try scrolling back and you will see people of every stripe perceiving Hubpages as picking on them, including diametrically opposed viewpoints.

    7. Dolores Monet profile image94
      Dolores Monetposted 4 years ago

      Just because you don't get a lot of traffic for one of your articles doesn't mean that HP hates you. Or that everybody else out there hates you. I see that your article has not found a niche site. Usually people who write articles about a particular topic and establish expertise get more traffic than those who publish one article about a specific topic.

      If find it odd how some people feel that there is some kind of conspiracy against them because a particular article doesn't get traffic. I wrote an article on linen that doesn't get any views but I don't think that HP, or Google, or a vast anti-linen cabal is conspiring against me.

      Also, Donald Trump's name comes up in a gazillion sites both for and against. If someone is searching for information either positive or negative, they have an awful lot to wade through from established platforms. You have not established yourself as a viable voice on the topic.


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