Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing focused on alleged political censorship affecting Google’s search results. Breitbart reports that Bhatia made the claim in response to questioning from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
“I feel like you all push the boundaries until your hand gets slapped,” Blackburn said. “Has Google ever blacklisted, or attempted to blacklist, a company, group, individual, or outlet from its advertising partners or its search results for political reasons?”
“We don’t use blacklists, whitelists to influence our search results,” he responded.
“For what reason does Google blacklist a company?” she followed up.
“As I said, per your previous question, we do not utilize blacklists or whitelists in our search results to favor political outcomes,” he insisted. “That’s not, doesn’t happen.”
Bhatia’s answer conflicts with the January leak of a file named “youtube_controversial_query_blacklist,” containing a list of search terms manually curated by Google for its video platform YouTube. While some of the terms referenced fringe conspiracy theories, other terms included “abortion,” “Maxine Waters,” and items pertaining to the 2018 Irish abortion referendum.
Leaked internal chat logs showed employees speculating that abortion had been added in December, after a Slate writer complained about Live Action videosexplaining what abortion procedures actually entail. It “seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists,” one employee admitted at the time.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) responded to the claim by calling Google the “most dishonest company to appear before Congress”:
— Read on russia-insider.com/en/google-denies-blacklisting-under-oath-despite-leaked-docs-showing-otherwise/ri27479