With all of the (negative) attention Facebook's been receiving for it's totally-legal-because-you-clicked-accept-no-really-read-the-agreement study on manipulating the emotions of its users, is it at all surprising that Google does the same thing every day?
At the height of this year's World Cup, NPR covered a story on Google's inner workings, and Google employees matter-of-factly explained that their jobs are to steer major news events into a positive direction by having really malicious-sounding hits show up later in Google searches, and nicer hits show up first. For example, during the World Cup, Google analysts looked at which terms had the most searches during the Brazil-Germany match, and decided which terms should actually be "trending," and which shouldn't.
The team decided to turn this trending question into the trend of the day. After every game, copy editors write up a fact that interprets Google search analytics. Designers put the factoid into a pretty box. Influencers enlisted by Google circulate it on Twitter and Facebook — to increase it's reach beyond the company's own social network Google+.
Google is essentially deciding whether happy stories or sad stories show up more, and in the process, trying to influence the general mood of various national populations.
Hmmm... the Ministry of Truth would be proud.