Newsweek, PBS

Google’s CEO Tells Congress Why Photos of Donald Trump Appear in a Search for the Word ‘Idiot’ — Here’s How He Explained It

Dec 11, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Google CEO Sundar Pichai did his best to explain to members of the House Judiciary Committee why images of Donald Trump come up on a Google search for the word “idiot.” Testifying before the panel on Tuesday, Pichai was asked that question by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

Newsweek quotes Pichai saying: “We provide search today for any time you type in a keyword … we have gone out and stored copies of billions of web pages in our index, and we take the keyword and match it against the pages and rank them based on over 200 signals. Things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, you know, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external radars, to objective guidelines, to make sure the process is working …”

Newsweek notes that Lofgren followed up by asking whether there was “a little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we are going to show the users.”

Said Pichai: “Last year we served over three trillion searches. Just as a fact, every single day, 15 percent of the searches Google sees, we have never seen them before. So this is working at scale. We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.”

The report notes: “Several Republicans during the hearing, including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), accused Google’s culture of exhibiting ‘political bias.’”

Here’s Pichai’s exchange with Lofgren, posted by PBS …


  1. Someone once said, “Tthere’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

    Obviously they never had a member of Congress ask them a question.

  2. Unfortunately for Trumpton Google mostly gets it right.

  3. Congress still doesn’t know what the internet is or how it works. This was just a chance to get on TV.

  4. in addition to the word, “idiot” … there are other phases that should reflect
    Lord Trump …

    – Conman
    – Thief
    – Liar
    – Egomaniac
    – Unethical
    – etc

    So, in other words, “Donald Trump is a Renaissance Man of Everything Evil in the World”
    — What an amazing accomplishment for such a puny person …

  5. Hahahaha. You are all such comedians! (with the exception of John, who “get’s it”). When is your next stand up show?? It’s obvious the Google talking head was prevaricating. I would say since the country is pretty much divided in half you could surmise that half the country was typing in “idiot” looking for an image of Obama a few short years ago. So why didn’t Obama’s image show up?? You know the answer.

  6. If it’s unbiased and based on web site crawls I SHOULD be able to type in “liar” and get a photo of Christine Blasey Ford back… and I don’t.

    Not that she is or isn’t, but there are arguably just as many references to that on the Internet as there are to Trump and “idiot.”

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