Tech giants could face hearings about bias, Nunes warns
Google and other tech giants could face hearings as an anti-conservative bias will remain, warns the legislator Devin Nunes.
Just a few days after Google accidentally listed “Nazism” as one of the ideologies of the California Republican party, Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-California) warned that the search giant and other tech giants could face hearings over alleged anti-conservative bias.
Speaking during an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox Business, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman said that the anti-GOP bias is widespread. “I think what the American people need to understand is there is bias against conservatives and Republicans across this country,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “And now you see things, it has always been there with newspapers and television, but now you see it still in the internet, it is one of the challenges that we have with millennials.”
Google was slammed last week after the “Nazism” ad appeared in the search giant’s Knowledge of the Panel.
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The Knowledge that Panel, in the search results, pulls in the data from a variety of sources on the Web, including Wikipedia. Google scribbled a solution for the problem, which it said was the result of “vandalism” on one of the sources.
A Wikimedia spokesman confirmed to Fox News that the vandalism was Google draw “was not visible for Wikipedia readers in the text of the article, and is removed by volunteer editors.”
“The success of Wikipedia depends on everyone being able to contribute, and that is including the correct information,” the spokesperson said via e-mail. “Anyone can edit Wikipedia is based on our core principles of neutrality and reliable sourcing, and the hundreds of thousands of volunteers do this every month. This is crucial for Wikipedia’s ever-changing record of knowledge of the world. Wikipedia editors, often with the help of monitoring tools to support their work, to capture and restore the most vandalism to Wikipedia within a few minutes.”
Nevertheless, the incident led to outrage in a time where big tech is firmly in the political spotlight. Silicon Valley has repeatedly faced with allegations that it suppressed the conservative vote, something that the likes of Google and Facebook have vehemently denied.
During his interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Nunes declared that the Congress would take action to stop online censorship of conservative ideas. I hope that they just do not get caught up in the politics and not censor conservatives and Republicans, but if they continue to do so, then we have to move clear to hearings about these problems,” he said.
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Nunes also suggested that the tech sector can develop a viable alternative to Google. “The best thing would be is that there is a new search engine that does not actually censor conservatives. I think there is a free market solution here, as someone who can compete with Google,” he said. “If they can’t, then in the long term we’re looking for monopolies, and that, you know, brings you in a whole different set of circumstances.”
“These companies – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, et cetera, they are monopolies and they need to be restrained?” he added. “I hope we don’t have to go.”
Fox has reached Google for a response to Nunes’ comments.
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Google also has come under fire after search results for North Carolina Republican legislator Trudy Wade gave her picture accompanied by the word “bigot.” Google apologized for the result of the search. “The images that are displayed in the Knowledge Panel to be either elected by authenticated users, or automatically derived from sites on the web,” tweeted Friday. “In this case, the image was hosted on a student news blog. After being alerted to this problem, we have immediately removed from the Knowledge of the window.”
The state senator, however, said that Google’s apology ” sounded a little hollow.” When Wade learned about the picture on Friday, an assistant requested that Google take, Wade explained in a statement released Saturday.
“They said to find and contact the original author of the photo, and the post continued,” she added. “Even when the [North Carolina] Insider Colin Campbell broke the story in Raleigh, the image remained. Only after the Drudge Report posted to a national audience, and it began to go viral on social media, Google has to do what is right.”
Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia, Elizabeth Zwirz contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers