Google CEO Sundar Pichai Gets a Thumbs Up After Testimony

Ann Santiago
December 13, 2018

As Pichai made his way into the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, Jones followed the CEO down the hall, repeatedly chanting "Google is evil!"

One of the arguments was the fact that if you search for images under the keyword "idiot", you'll most likely get a bunch of Trump's faces. "We participate in the civic process in a non-partisan way", Pichai said. "How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?" she asked. We take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on over 200 signals, things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it.

Pichai reiterated Google's position that it has no plans "right now" to re-enter China with a search engine generating censored results to comply with the demands of that country's Communist government.

"We don't manually intervene on any search", Pichai told Lofgren.

According to insider information leaked to the Intercept, the controversial Google app was created to link users' search history with their phone numbers, making it easier for the regime to target dissidents.

In August, President Donald Trump accused Google of shutting out "Republican/Conservative" and "Fair Media" from Google News searches, referring to a PJ Media report that among the top 100 search results for "Trump" on Google News, 96 percent of them were from left-leaning media.

But for the tens of thousands of people who were watching the hearing online via live stream, Pichai's carefully prepared testimony was disturbed by a unusually dressed man in the background who appeared to be the "Rich Uncle Pennybags" from the board game Monopoly.

Several Democrats also pressed Pichai on Google's efforts to build a special search engine for China, code-named Dragon Fly, that is said to be capable of censoring results as well as tracking users.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., spoke to Fox News on Tuesday night about his biggest concerns with the future of Google after the search giant's CEO sparred with lawmakers at a hearing.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) told the Iowa congressman later in the hearing that if he wanted "positive search results, do positive things".

The Google chief was asked whether this was an example of political bias in algorithms - which he denied.

Nevertheless, Pichai said his company plans on being "transparent" with U.S. lawmakers in the event Google launches a search product for China.

Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a US congressional panel Google had over 100 people working on the project at one point. Unaware of the implication that so many outlets reported on the bill in this way simply because, maybe, it was just bad, Chabot went on to bring up a similar experience with the GOP tax plan. The Texas Republican also pressed Pichai on whether Google had ever punished any of its employees for manipulating search results.

Sundar Pichai was asked to explain how the company operates in before Congress.

Back in August, Pichai wrote a letter to U.S. lawmakers in which he noted that launching a search product in the country would give "broad benefits" to China.

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