On July 16, the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on Google and its affiliates’ alleged online censorship of conservative voices, titled, “Google and Censorship Through Search Engines.” Focused primarily on Google Search and YouTube, the hearing consisted of questioning of Google Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Karan Bhatia, by a panel of experts and self-described victims of Google’s censorship. Bhatia faced intense questioning from Republican Senators about Google’s algorithms and the role Google plays as a neutral public forum, while allegedly censoring conservatives. Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) focused her questioning on Google’s lack of proactive moderation when it comes to violent or hateful content. The Senators also discussed the role of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the statute’s usefulness in the current digital ecosystem. You can watch the full hearing here.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.