5 Mind-Blowingly Dumb Things We Heard at the Google Hearing

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, and many of their questions left the SEO community collectively shaking their heads.

At times it was glaringly obvious that Congress had no idea how search engines work.

Other times it seemed like Congress knew little about Google in general, or how the company differed from Apple and Wikipedia.

One might assume the House representatives would show up adequately prepared to speak with the leader of one of the world’s largest companies.

However, if the Mark Zuckerberg hearing taught us anything, it’s not to set our expectations too high.

With that said, let’s look at 5 of the most jaw-droppingly, mind-blowingly, dumb things we heard at yesterday’s hearing.

Google does not manipulate results for individual queries

Questioning the search results showing up for Congressman Steve King, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu asked Pichai:

“That’s a negative article. But you don’t have a group of people at Google sitting there thinking and trying to modify search results — every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears. That’s not what’s happening, right?”

Pichai had to explain, matter-of-factly, that Google does not manipulate search results for people in that way.

Google does not make iPhones

Rep. Steve King, after informing Pichai about an unfavorable pop-up that appeared on his granddaughter’s iPhone, asked:

“I’m not going to say into the record what kind of language was used around that picture of her grandfather, but I’d ask you: how does that show up on a seven-year-old’s iPhone, who’s playing a kid’s game?”

Pichai had to inform the Congressman that iPhones are made by a different company.

Congress doesn’t understand how Google image search works

A question came up regarding pictures of Donald Trump showing up when people search for the word “idiot.”

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I…

 

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