Rep. Ted Lieu to GOP Colleagues: ‘Consider Blaming Yourself’ For Negative Google Results
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) called out his Republican colleagues during a House Judiciary Committee hearing with the CEO of Google, as he pushed back against their fears of big tech manipulation by saying, “If you don’t want negative search results” on the platform, then “don’t do negative things.”
Lieu began his bit by comparing the search results of two Republican lawmakers with similar public profiles.
“I searched for Congressman Steve Scalise,” the Democrat said. “He is a Republican. The first four articles that came up were generally pretty positive.”
He went on to ask Google CEO Sundar Pichai if the search engine generates “positive articles on these search results,” to which the tech executive said no.
Lieu continued by performing a “real-time Google search” where he changed “Scalise” to “King,” referencing Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who was present at the hearing and has been in the news lately over his ties to the white supremacist movement.
“The article that pops up is from ABC News, ‘Steve King’s racist immigration talk prompts calls for Congressional censure,'” Lieu said. “That’s a negative article, but you don’t have a group of people at Google sitting there — to modify search results, [so] every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears — that’s not what’s happening, right?”
“We are trying to reflect what is currently being discussed about that phrase,” Pichai replied.
Lieu concluded his speaking time by preaching to his Republican colleagues about what generates bad press:
“Let me just conclude here by stating the obvious. If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things. 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 above, via CSPAN.
[image via screengrab]
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