Google CEO to appear before Congress where he will likely face questions from Republicans on political bias

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will make his debut testifying before Congress next Wednesday, a few months after a...

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 7:09 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 7:09 PM

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will make his debut testifying before Congress next Wednesday, a few months after a different attempt to get him to Capitol Hill turned so contentious that a Senate committee featured an empty chair in his place at a hearing.

Pichai is set to appear before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he will likely face questions from Republicans on whether the search engine giant harbors bias or ill will toward conservative users.

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"The hearing will examine potential bias and the need for greater transparency regarding the filtering practices of tech giant Google," the House Judiciary Committee said in a press release confirming the hearing, which was first reported Tuesday night by The Washington Post.

In a statement, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy cited unnamed reports to suggest Google "might not be wielding its vast power impartially." McCarthy further said, without citing evidence, that Google's "business practices may have been affected by political bias."

A representative for Google declined comment on Pichai's upcoming testimony.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Republican Bob Goodlatte, has held hearings throughout the year focused on whether tech giants are biased against conservatives. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was the last major tech figure to make an appearance before the committee, doing so at a hearing in September.

Often citing no real evidence, and regularly appearing to fail to grasp the basics of how various technology companies operate, Republicans on the committee have previously allowed hearings on the issue to drift into conspiratorial waters.

Republican representatives on the committee have cited fringe media outlets to accuse tech companies of political bias. They also invited pro-Trump social media personalities "Diamond & Silk" to testify at one hearing, and did not stop them from peddling a significant amount of misinformation.

Google had previously declined to make Pichai available for a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, even though Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg did attend.

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