Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, releases this video of his questioning of Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, during Tuesday’s hearing entitled “Transparency and Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use, and Filtering Practices.“
In his questioning, King was particularly interested in discussing Google’s lack of transparency concerning both the composition of its 1,000 strong “search team” and also the search algorithms they work on. King made it clear to Google today: if the company continues to cloak its actions and its algorithms in a veil of secrecy to protect manipulating search results to reflect their political biases, they may very well find themselves moving on a path that leads to a “Teddy Roosevelt” style break-up.
The “Teddy Roosevelt” step is a shorthand reference to anti-monopoly Trust Busting, a hallmark of that President’s administration. Congressman King has previously suggested that Social Media Companies engaged in the censorship of conservative views could find themselves subject to regulation as if they were public utilities.
An excerpt from Congressman King’s statement:
“If we don’t know who the 1,000 are, and we can’t look at their social media, and we can’t see the algorithms to understand the results of the work they are doing behind closed doors, and yet the public believes it’s an open forum with a balanced exchange and open access to information when, of course, it’s not…
We either need to know who they are and look at their social media, and if that doesn’t stop this problem than the next step is to publish the algorithms, and if that doesn’t happen, then the next step on the line is Section 230, the amendments to Section 230. And the step on the line beyond that is the Teddy Roosevelt step. . .
I don’t want to regulate anything, but neither do I want to see a society so polarized and so divided that the will of the American people can’t be expressed at the ballot box.”