During the congressional hearing of Google CEO, Sundar Pichai he was asked about how president Trump’s picture would be thrown up in search results every time the word “idiot” was typed into its search engine. He was questioned on whether this was a sign of political bias in algorithms which he denied as even though the word “idiot” was searched at least a million times its images would throw up pictures of Donald Trump. As per Google Trends “idiot” is currently the most searched term in US and Democratic leader Zoe Lofgren asked Mr. Pichai about why the search results included pictures of Mr. Trump.
He then went on to explain that Google’s searches are based on keywords ranking that is based on more than 200 factors that also include relevance and popularity. Ms. Lofgren then wanted to confirm that the picture was appearing randomly and was not the manipulative handiwork of a human that wanted to deliberately show Mr. Trump’s face for the word. Mr. Pichai was also questioned by Republican member Steve Chabot about why whenever he searches for news about his political party’s health care bill only negative statements appear in search results.
Tech experts says that this link between search term “idiot” and pictures of Mr. Trump began trending this year after protestors in Britain pushed the song American Idiot sung by Green Day to the top of UK’s charts during Mr. Trump’s visit in July. After this users of Reddit started posting articles that had pictures of President Trump with the word “Idiot” alongside in a procedure that is known as “Google Bombing” to manipulate the search engine’s database. Earlier too such unfortunate taglines have been used against US presidents when “miserable failure” was used for George W. Bush. The questions fired at Mr. Pichai by congressmen showed how little knowledge they had about tech industry as some of them were unable to comprehend his answers.