Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee. Despite testifying under oath, Pichai’s statements were riddled with demonstrable falsehoods — here are some of Pichai’s biggest whoppers.
1. The Google CEO leads the company “without political bias”
There are at least two ways this statement can be interpreted. First, Pichai may be referring to his personal lack of political biases. Second, he may be referring to the lack of bias in Google’s product.
On both interpretations, Pichai wasn’t telling the truth. Breitbart News put Pichai’s biases on display for the world with our publication of a leaked 1-hour video of the Google CEO and other company executives dismayed reactions to Donald Trump’s win in 2016. In it, Pichai and his colleagues applauded an employee’s far-left racist rant about “white privilege,” and promised to respond to the election result by promising to tackle “misinformation” by investing in A.I. So there’s no doubt that Pichai himself isn’t free of political bias.
And his product isn’t free of it either. Earlier this year, Breitbart revealed that Google’s ad services team contacted advertisers to warn them away from Breitbart News. Just yesterday, Breitbart revealed that the company’s director of monetization kept a close watch on this website following the company’s “fake news kick-off discussion.” In the past year alone, Google has banned alternative media figures and free speech apps from its services, and refused service to both Republican senator-elect Marsha Blackburn in the U.S. midterm race and Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy in Canada.
Perhaps the starkest evidence of Google’s bias is its decision to allow Wikipedia, a site dominated by far-left propaganda, a privileged position in its search results and YouTube video descriptions.
2. Google did not try and turn out Latino voters in key states
Perhaps the most astonishing part of Pichai’s testimony was when he denied that Google tried to turn out Latino voters in “key states” in 2016.
“Key states,” as Rep. Jim Jordan noted, is crucial — it separates nonpartisan voter participation boosting from an active attempt to influence an election. Pichai himself acknowledged that any attempt by Google to activate particular demographics in such a manner would be partisan — which is probably why he denied it.
The denial was astonishing because leaked emails from Google’s then-head of Multicultural Marketing, Eliana Murillo, which Rep. Jordan read out to Pichai during the hearing, directly contradicted him. The emails even described the turnout efforts as a “silent donation” and clearly stated they were targeted at “key states” including Florida, Nevada, and Arizona. Yet Pichai, testifying under oath, continued to deny it.
The way Pichai denied it was also egregious. In the leaked emails, Murillo wrote about the company’s voter turnout operations using the word “we” and “our” to refer to the company. There was no ambiguity in Murillo’s words: she wrote that “people were beyond thrilled to see Google’s support and acknowledgment of the Latino community.” [emphasis ours]. Yet Pichai’s argument was that Murillo was not referring to Google when she used the words “we” and “our” elsewhere in the emails.
3. Users can opt out of Google’s invasive tracking services
In response to questions about Google’s privacy questions, Pichai was clear: users have a choice.
“You have a choice of what information is collected,” said Pichai. “We give clear toggles, by category, where they can decide whether that information is collected, stored, or, more importantly, if they decide to stop using it.”
This was another falsehood from the Google CEO. An Associated Press report found that multiple Google services on Android phones store users’ location data regardless of whether the “Location History” feature is toggled on or off. The findings were confirmed by computer scientists at Stanford University. A prior investigation by Tucker Carlson found that Android phones can track you even when disconnected from any network or in flight mode. User choice? Not much.
4. Google does not discriminate against competitors
In response to a question from Rep. Cicilline (D-RI) about competition, Pichai denied that Google discriminates against its rivals.
“We provide users with the best experience they are looking for, the most relevant information, that’s our true north [and] how we approach our products.”
Yet Google has already been slapped with a massive fine from the European Union for favoring its own products, like its shopping comparisons, in search results.
5. Google has diverse perspectives
Pichai made a point of emphasizing the diversity of perspectives he claims to welcome at Google. It was probably a wise move, given that his company is currently facing down a class-action lawsuit from current and former employees claiming it discriminated against them in part on the basis of viewpoint.
“We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions—and we have no shortage of them among our own employees,” said Pichai in his prepared opening remarks.
“Some of our Googlers are former servicemen and women who have risked much in defense of our country. Some are civil libertarians who fiercely defend freedom of expression. Some are parents who worry about the role technology plays in our households. Some—like me—are immigrants to this country, profoundly grateful for the freedoms and opportunities it offers. Some of us are many of these things.”
Plenty of room for diverse perspectives at Google, according to Pichai — except for engineers who express mainstream centrist views on gender diversity and political tolerance, and are subsequently hounded by left-wing employees. Suffice to say, current and former Google employees who have spoken to Breitbart News in the past take a very different view of how welcoming Google is to non-progressive perspectives.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.