Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) tore into Representative Steve King (R-IA) over King’s history of racist remarks during a hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai Tuesday afternoon.
The House Judiciary Committee questioned Pichai over whether Google manipulated search engine results in order to favor certain individuals over others.
“You don’t have a group of people at Google sitting there thinking, ‘Hey, we like Steve Scalise, so we’re going to generate positive articles on these search results,'” Lieu asked Pichai. “That’s not what’s happening, right?”
Pichai replied: “No, we don’t deal with individual queries and with any viewpoint.”
After Googling House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Lieu read off a series of positive headlines about Scalise, who was injured in a shooting at a Congressional baseball practice game in 2017.
Lieu then entered King’s name into the search engine. The results were negative articles about bigoted comments made by the Iowa Congressman.
“I’m going to change one word,” Lieu said. “So I’m going to search for ‘Congressman Steve King,’ I’m going to hit the ‘News’ tab. First article that pops up is from ABC News. It says ‘Steve King’s racist immigration talk prompts calls for congressional censure.’ That’s a negative article. But you don’t have a group of people at Google sitting there thinking and trying to modify search results – every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears. That’s not what’s happening, right?”
Pichai again said no, Google does not tamper with results.
Looking at King, Lieu had some advice for King – stop being saying racist things.
“So let me just conclude here by stating the obvious,” Lieu said. “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things. And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter – consider blaming yourself.”
Watch the exchange below:
.@tedlieu admonishes colleagues: "If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don't want negative search results, don't do negative things. And to my colleagues, if you're getting bad results, don't blame Google or Twitter, consider blaming yourself." 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/Gby0jZbL8x
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 11, 2018
Twitter went wild.
— Dave (@RetireInReutte) December 11, 2018
They don't understand why Google can't be more like Fox.
— Bridget H (@HenryBridget222) December 11, 2018
— Paca Whisperer aka Jayme (@SageHillfarms) December 11, 2018
Great examples, @tedlieu !!! From an Iowan, Steve King and those who continue to vote for him has only brought this upon themselves. Stop saying racist things and stop promoting a White Nationalist agenda.
— Paul McMorris (@paulmcmorris411) December 11, 2018
The only thing missing is a shot of Steve King while this was happening.
— blair lipscomb (@j_blair_l) December 11, 2018
Exactly! Ted, you are my hero!
— Mark Novata (@mark_novata) December 11, 2018
Republicans’ lack of basic technical prowess is stunning, to say the least.