House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Sunday there may be a need for Google to testify after the company’s search engine showed results linking Republicans to “Nazism.”
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, the California Republican framed the issue as one in which tech monopolies “should be reined in” and called for a new search engine to compete against Google that doesn’t “censor” conservatives.
“I think there’s a free market solution here if somebody can compete with Google. If they can’t, then ultimately we’re looking at monopolies and then that brings in a whole other set of circumstances is — are these companies; Facebook, Twitter, Google, apple, etc.; are they monopolies and should they be reined in,” Nunes said on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”
“I would hope we don’t have to go there. I would hope that they just don’t get involved in politics and don’t censor conservatives and Republicans, but if they continue to do it then we have to move obviously to hearings on these issues,” he added.
Conservatives this week were in an uproar after a Google search showed the word “Nazism” in an information box about the California Republican Party’s ideology. Further exacerbating the issue, a separate search for Trudy Wade, a North Carolina state senator who is a Republican and a supporter of President Trump, pulled up a picture Friday with the word “BIGOT” in red.
Google has apologized for the offending search results, which in the case of the “Nazism” search it called “vandalism,” but explained that these search results were automatically populated by sites across the Internet. “We have systems in place that catch vandalism before it impacts search results, but occasionally errors get through, and that’s what happened here,” Google said in a statement. “This would have been fixed systematically once we processed the removal from Wikipedia, but when we noticed the vandalism we worked quickly to accelerate this process to remove the erroneous information.”
The Drudge Report, a top right-leaning news aggregator, helped draw attention to the issue at the nationwide level, and congressional leaders, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have called on Google to work on a solution.
Earlier this year, Google defeated a lawsuit that alleged YouTube, a video-sharing website owned by Google, which alleged censorship of conservatives.
Other tech companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have also been accused by conservatives of bias or censorship.