Decided not to defend practices to Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month
(The Hill) – Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an email to Google staff on Friday said the company has not and will not bias its search results in favor of any political cause, movement or party, according to The New York Times.
“Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our Search results for a political end. This is absolutely false,” Pichai wrote in the email, obtained by the Times. “We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda. The trust our users place in us is our greatest asset and we must always protect it.”
The email follows a report from The Wall Street Journal this week that detailed an internal email thread sent among Google employees.
The thread followed soon after President Trump announced a travel ban, restricting travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries. Google joined over 100 companies in signing an amicus brief asking an appellate court to strike down the ban.
In the email thread, Google employees reportedly discussed ways to alter search results to “actively counter” Google searches that produced results staffers believed to harbor anti-immigrant or Islamophobic sentiment. A Google spokeswoman said the idea was never acted upon.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Trump and Republicans have lambasted tech companies for alleged bias against conservatives on their platforms. GOP lawmakers have claimed that companies like Google and Twitter stifled conservative voices by blocking certain search results and banning user accounts.
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?” Trump tweeted in August.
Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints,” Trump wrote the previous month.
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018