Google CEO Sundar Pichai to Face GOP-Led Congress Who Claim Bias Against Conservatives
Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai will testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 5 in the waning days of Republican control of that chamber of Congress. The subject? Anti-conservative bias that many GOP politicians have stated (GOOG), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others routinely engage in to mute or throttle that part of the political spectrum.
The House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who will become the minority leader in January, said in a statement that, “Today the company accounts for nearly 90 percent of worldwide search traffic… Unfortunately, recent reports suggest Google might not be wielding its vast power impartially. Its business practices may have been affected by political bias.”
It’s not just congressional Republicans and right-wing media outlets that make this contention. Citizens on both ends of the political spectrum also believe online platforms actively censor political views. A Pew Research survey released June 28 found 72% of Americans agreed with that statement about Twitter (TWTR) and (FB). About 85% were Republicans or independents who leaned Republican, and 62% were Democrats or leaned that way.
McCarthy also called Google to task for reports about its alleged efforts to cooperate with China’s policy of strict censorship. Reports have circulated for months that Google developed a secret project, codenamed Dragonfly, that would comply with Chinese Internet rules by censoring search results and potentially allow the company to re-enter the country.
Pichai’s appearance follows Google turning down an invitation for either Pichai or Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and CEO of parent company Alphabet, to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. However, Pichai previously spoke privately to GOP lawmakers in September, during which he reportedly agreed to this upcoming hearing.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune.