Remember when they used to bitch and moan about how the kids today were always claiming to be victims of something or other? About that:
“There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives.”
The “Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company…” was a nice moment.
As was this:
Lieu read headlines from a Google search about House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Noting that the first few articles about Scalise were favorable to him and included those from conservative media outlets, Lieu asked Pichai whether people at Google were manipulating those results to favor Scalise.
“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,'” he said. “That’s not what’s happening, right?”
Pichai said no, adding, “We don’t deal with individual queries and with any viewpoint.”
But then Lieu pivoted, pulling out his smartphone for a Google search in real time and entering King’s name.
King, who was sitting across the room on the powerful House panel, became visibly perturbed.
“I’m going to change one word. So I’m going to search for ‘Congressman Steve King,’ I’m going to hit the ‘News’ tab,” Lieu said. “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, reiterating that Google does not manipulate results for people in that way.
“So let me just conclude here by stating the obvious,” Lieu responded. “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,” he added.
Nice one, Rep Lieu. Nice one.