Grilled on Hill, Google chief Pichai denies firm censors conservatives

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Pichai replied that "providing users with high-quality and trusted information is sacrosanct to us. we find we have a wide variety of sources including from the left and the right".

Project Dragonfly is the name of the company's plan to create a China-specific, censored version of its search engine in order to cater to the government in Beijing. In 2010, Google withdrew its censored search service out of China in response to the Chinese government's free speech limits. "How does search work so that that would occur?" she asked.

"Congressman, I commit to engaging - one of the things that is important to us as a company - we have a stated mission of providing users with information, and so we always - we think it's within our duty to explore possibilities".

At another point during today's hearing, for example, Ohio Republican Steve Chabot said "I don't know if I buy that", referring to Google's explanation of how algorithms drive search results.

"To date, no credible evidence has been presented that suggests Google engineers program the company's search, video or news algorithms to favor one political ideology over another", Axios' Sara Fischer writes.

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Privacy and tracking were issues of interest to the panel, too.

Democrats came out in defense of the firm, with the committee's ranking member, Rep. While Pichai effortlessly dodged many of these questions, what the lawmakers asked him revealed an emerging bipartisan consensus that the industry status quo on issues like digital privacy is no longer sustainable. "I've got an iPhone", Poe said, waving his device. "To give users access to information, and you know, I have that commitment, but you know, as I said earlier on this, we will be very thoughtful, and we will engage widely as we make progress". Pichai instead spent a huge chunk of time answering questions based on the false premise that Google is biased against conservatives.

Mr Pichai's no-show at that hearing was marked by an empty chair for Google alongside the Facebook and Twitter executives who did appear. He says lawmakers should instead examine issues such as the spread of misinformation and Russia's efforts to influence USA elections online.

Google's chief executive has explained to a United States congressional hearing why searching for the term "idiot" on Google Images returns pictures of Donald Trump while giving evidence to Congress. How does that happen, she wondered?

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.

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"So it's not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we're going to show the user?"

While Jones may have favored a more confrontational approach, lawmakers inside the hearing took Pichai to task on a litany of accusations.

One of the biggest complaints against Google has been the company's data collection practices, which can use your your search history and location to serve you targeted ads.

He also reiterated Google's support for a national privacy law, which could gain momentum next year, in part because diverse business groups have backed plans to that would preempt California's stringent new privacy law.

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