The company’s plans for China, Google+ data breaches, and whether tech giants need to be more closely regulated all might have taken center stage.
But while lawmakers brought up all of those issues this morning at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, the Pichai hearing was dominated by allegations of bias against conservatives, as Democrats struggled to counter the narrative while introducing new questions.
“We need to be sure that any political bias within Google’s workforce does not creep into its workforce,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in an opening statement.
Minutes later, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was calling the idea “entirely fictitious” — a “fantasy dreamed up by some conservatives.”
Most Republican lawmakers on the committee confronted Pichai about bias in some way.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) pointedly asked Pichai, citing a questionable report on news search results, about “the muting of conservative voices,” and questioned whether employees were manipulating results.