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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12 2018, @02:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the LMGTFY dept.

Google's Sundar Pichai was grilled on privacy, data collection, and China during congressional hearing

Google's CEO testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday where lawmakers grilled him on a wide range of issues, including potential political bias on its platforms, its plans for a censored search app in China and its privacy practices.

This is the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress since Google declined to send him or Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a hearing on foreign election meddling earlier this year. That slight sparked anger among senators who portrayed Google as trying to skirt scrutiny.

[...] Tuesday's hearing was titled "Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use, and Filtering Practices" and many representatives posed questions on whether or not Google's search results were biased against conservative points of view.

[...] Another topic that came up multiple times was Google's plan to launch a censored search engine in China. The Intercept first reported details of the project over the summer, which would block search results for queries that the Chinese government deemed sensitive, like "human rights" and "student protest" and link users' searches to their personal phone numbers. [...] "Right now, we have no plans to launch search in China," Pichai answered, adding that access to information is "an important human right."

Also at Bloomberg and The Hill.

See also: Sundar Pichai had to explain to Congress why Googling 'idiot' turns up pictures of Trump
Google CEO admits company must better address the spread of conspiracy theories on YouTube
Alex Jones, Roger Stone crash Google CEO hearing
Monopoly man watches disapprovingly as Congress yells at Google's CEO

Previously: Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal
Uproar at Google after News of Censored China Search App Breaks
"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project
Google Suppresses Internal Memo About China Censorship; Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split
Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine
Senators Demand Answers About Google+ Breach; Project Dragonfly Undermines Google's Neutrality

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by edIII on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:54PM (2 children)

    by edIII (791) on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:54PM (#773707)

    I don't accept that, but, if it is true, then America should be embarrassed. Under the guise of eliminating an ages-old racist culture, you are instituting another racist culture. Under the guise of battling fascism, you are trying to build a Soviet style authoritarian state. If that is a reflection of yourselves, so be it. Just don't waste time arguing with me that your racist, soviet state is somehow superior to the status quo. And, PLEASE, openly admit that the left has abandoned The Dream of Martin Luther King. You simply cannot have King's dream, while establishing a New Racist Order.

    Of course America should be embarrassed. Russia was able to manipulate our elections by manipulating us through power we willingly gave as sheep to some tech giants. I'm not sure what racist culture is replacing the old racist culture. You seem to be talking about the extreme left which is as fucking nutty and intellectually and ethically offensive as the far right.

    "Your"? Slow the fuck down buddy. I'm not part of the extreme left by any measures, and being pro-union and pro-hybrid-socialist-capitalist does not group me in with them. I'm not arguing that either the status quo or the extreme left vision of America is correct. Both are reprehensible on many levels.

    I don't what the fuck you are going about with this "New Racist Order". I know a lot of liberals, and lot of them are surprised that in the last decade that the left got stretched so much farther to the left, and that they're actually closer to centrist now. When you say "Left" you lose a lot of fucking people, because none of those people advocate for safe spaces, decriminalization of pronoun usage, free speech restrictions, etc. Every liberal I knew was offended by the teacher in SF that punched a demonstrating Nazi, who was not provoking anyone beyond enjoying his right to protest and be on the soap box. We were offended she thought it was legal, ethical, and moral to punch the man because he was a Nazi. That's bullshit, and it's also extreme fucking bullshit to paint the whole Left with the same brush. Do you think nobody on the left can tell the difference between a conservative, White Nationalist, and far far right ethnostate nutbag?

    Dr. Martin Luther King is my hero. Yes, I think he would be rolling in his grave seeing Antifi and their militant response to the militant response the White Nationalists put out. It's not an excuse, and Dr. King would say to turn the other cheek, and the only way to can defeat them is to engage them conversation, and above all, peaceful resistance.

    Google actively suppresses results that cast women and minorities in a poor light. If Google is allowing images of Trump to crop up when "idiot" is searched for, then yes, Google has made a conscious decision to do so.

    I've heard nothing about that at all, and you're just so completely full of it with your assumption it was a conscious decision to do so. Conscious decision making does not scale, and it's an algorithm. People getting butthurt by Google fail to realize that Google represents what all of us are saying and doing on the web. It's truly nonsense to think a sentient human being is at Google actively out for conservatives. Especially when the other possibilities make a hell of a lot more sense, like there are a ton of people out there saying Trump is an idiot and posting memes. One is conspiracy, the other is established fact.

    True. Plausible deniability - ring any bells? Google feels the need to make excuses for the association of the term and the image. And, despite the apparent shift in focus on Google's part, Trump's image is still seen when you search for "idiot".

    Uh huh. Google didn't do jack shit, unless you mean engage in an immediate conspiracy with all media (conservative or otherwise), to make articles about it trend higher. Google only indexes content, it does not create it. Again, Google didn't shift whatsoever, it's the images of Trump along with negative captioning that causes those search results. The content in the search results is real. The only claim you can have is that there was an external campaign to create all that content out there, negative to Trump. The real truth remains, if there was a ton of positive content associated with him, you would find that instead.

    Google has been waging war against males, whites, heteros, and people of faith, not to mention conservatives, for quite a long while now. Yes, I blame Google.

    No it hasn't. If it has done anything, it is to put up the mirror. Other than a minority of people on the far extreme left, I don't hear anything against males specifically, or straight people, or white people, or religious people, or conservatives. Males? You mean me-too? Well suck it up because I'm old enough to know they're not all lying. This has been a day on its way for some time now, and yes, men need to answer for some shit. Religious people aren't under attack, what is under attack is their bullshit attempts to control the rest of us based on their sky people beliefs. If that means they can't discriminate against a gay guy, that's a good thing.

    What you're saying here is delusional, and to blame Google for society doesn't make any sense. They're a mirror, and that's clearly what upsets you more than anything. Google isn't the problem. Facebook isn't the problem. Twitter isn't the problem. We're all the problem.

    You get your wish to control and regulate Google, and you're going to be sorely disappointed. The regulators aren't going to find a person, but a machine. 3rd party analysis of the algorithm won't show favoritism. It won't change society, or magically raise Trump's numbers overnight either.

    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @10:13PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @10:13PM (#773724)

    Of course America should be embarrassed. Russia was able to manipulate our elections by manipulating us through power we willingly gave as sheep to some tech giants.

    From another comment site: "To pretend that a global businessman, who did have business interests in Russia, was shoved into office by the Russians, as if the American people were remotely controlled zombies, is the pinnacle of a propaganda narrative that takes voters to be dumb. A handful of social media postings hypnotized electors to vote for Trump? Sure. In reality the electorate of 2016 could only express this and only this: That they disliked Hillary Clinton so much, they would rather have anyone else, no matter how revolting of a jackass, in office. That is not the Russians' fault, that is the fault of the US elites." (anja-boettcher1 at

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Thursday December 13 2018, @12:08AM

      by Mykl (1112) on Thursday December 13 2018, @12:08AM (#773790)

      I agree that Russian interference couldn't influence the election more than a percentage point or two. However, that was all that was needed in the end.

      I strongly suspect that Trump would've lost if he had been up against anyone other than Hillary. The Dems pushed many votes Trump's way by anointing her, and the Russians added the final straw(s) to the camel's back through Fake News etc.

      And if you think that the American public is too smart to fall for that, remember that there are many examples that disprove that theory (My favourite one is that Gwyneth Paltrow's company Goop is still in business...)