Google

Guess Which Congressman Thought a Malfunctioning iPhone Was Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Fault

"Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company."

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Pichai
Douglas Christian/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Today's congressional hearing on Google and tech privacy provided yet another opportunity for America's elected representatives to prove how little they know about the businesses they would like to regulate.

Rep. Steve King (R–Iowa) did not disappoint. He related an anecdote involving his 7-year-old granddaughter, who was playing with an iPhone when an image of King accompanied by crude language appeared on the screen. "How does that show up on a 7-year-old's iPhone who's playing a kid's game?"

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, matter-of-factly answered, "Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company."

King then attempted to save face by suggesting, "maybe it was an Android."

This exchange was characteristic of the entire three-hour event, in which Pichai repeatedly shot down Republican claims that Google's search results are biased against President Trump and conservatives. Rep. Lamar Smith (R­­­–Texas), for instance, asked Pichai to explain why "96 percent of the references to Trump are from liberal media?" The CEO noted that this was simply not true. Rep Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) insisted that Google should investigate employees for wanting to classify right-wing websites as hate speech—even though Google is a private company, and can set whatever internal investigation policies it sees fit.

Others were better informed. Rep. Keith Rothus (R­–Penn.) hailed Google as a "success story of America's free enterprise system." Rep. Ted Lieu (D­–Calif.) even suggested that those accusing Google of bias were wasting time, since it's a private company and can do as it pleases.

On the whole, Congress once again gave the public plenty of reason to doubt that greater government regulation of tech giants and social media will produce desirable results.

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  1. Google had partially partnered with these ignorant Congressional assholes to commit unconstitutional domestic spying.

    Google leadership also wanted Hillary to win, so they consider politicians the best strategy to business dilemmas.

    1. Yes, Google was the first corporation EVER to want one candidate to win an election rather than another candidate. Another milestone for Google.

  2. I guessed Steve King before opening the page.

    Half because I wanted it to be Steve King, half because his ignorance and unpleasant character made it predictable.

    (Enjoy Keith Rothfus while you can. He’ll be leaving soon, with roughly 40 like him.)

    1. Aren’t you due for your med again Arthur?

      1. “….his ignorance and unpleasant character made it predictable.”

        While we’re on the subject of ignorant and unpleasant characters…

        Still bitter, still clinging and still incoherent.

      2. What kind of ignorant hick voluntarily discloses that he never got out of Alabama?

        1. “What kind of ignorant hick voluntarily discloses that he never got out of Alabama?”

          What kind of self-righteous asshole asks a question like that?

          1. Exactly the kind of asshole the Rev. is an exemplar of.

            1. Disaffected, anti-social, right-wing rubes are among my favorite faux libertarians.

              1. You know, I think your current med regime has actually stabilized the psychotic episodes. Or at least as much as modern anti-psychotics are capable of given the task at hand.

                1. Watching my preferences vanquish yours for at least a half-century has made most of you disaffected right-wingers very cranky. Try to lighten up for the holidays, clingers!

                  1. There, there, if you say so.
                    Now run along and play, the adults need to talk.

              2. Please go hang yourself.

  3. Lets see if Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s could give an anecdote on how Congressmen backdoor the taxpayers in private meetings while incorrectly naming a politician’s political party.

  4. Rep. Ted Lieu (D??Calif.) even suggested that those accusing Google of bias were wasting time, since it’s a private company and can do as it pleases.

    “Then we’d jolly well better *nationalize* it!”

    1. First time in history lieu had an anti regulatory stance.

      1. I bet it’s news to every other private company that the federal government thinks “it can do as it pleases”

  5. in which Pichai repeatedly shot down Republican claims that Google’s search results are biased against President Trump and conservatives.

    Guess which company this was:

    Class Action Complaint against Google for Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

    Actual quotes:

    George Sadlier (“Sadlier”), a Director, sent out a mass email condemning James’ essay as “repulsive and intellectually dishonest” and promising an HR investigation into Damore. Damore received a late-night email from Alex Hidalgo, an engineer in Sadlier’s organization: “You’re a misogynist and a terrible person. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*** you.”

    Adam Fletcher (“Fletcher”), L6 SRE Manager stated in reference to conservatives as “hostile voices,” “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. ”

    Kim Burchett (“Burchett”), L7 SWE Manager, proposed creating an online companywide blacklist of political conservatives inside Google.

    Another manager, Collin Winter stated: “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”

    1. Why were the people listed in the emails not fired immediately, is something I dont think was ever addressed?

      If I was an owner and had a subordinate who said this, “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. ” I would fire them for impacting my company and costing me money.

      1. I think it’s worth it to keep bringing up that Damore didn’t do *anything* wrong, including disclose internal business or private opinions within the company to the press. The best civil case you could muster against him was that he defamed the company and he isn’t the one that did the defaming. Arguably, someone solicited his opinion in confidence fraudulently or, at the very least, violated that confidence.

        1. As a Libertarian, I think Damore could have been fired for anything at any time.

          Since Commifornia has decided to take a different route, Damore didnt do anything wrong and should get a sizeable settlement from his wrongful termination lawsuit that is pending.

          Worse case he gets some awesome discovery from Google that he can then disclose to the public.

          American civil law- The Great Equalizer.

  6. King then attHe related an anecdote involving his 7-year-old granddaughter, who was playing with an iPhone when an image of King accompanied by crude language appeared on the screen. “How does that show up on a 7-year-old’s iPhone who’s playing a kid’s game?”

    “With all due respect, Congressman, I suggest you ask your granddaughter.”

    1. “Perhaps you should block reason.com on your granddaughter’s phone. You’d really hate to see some of the things the commenters there say about you.”

  7. The Congressmen should be forgiven. I mean most grew up on the Pony Express era. Saw the wonders of the telegraph and radio as teens, and have a taxpayer paid assistant to help them with their landlines. Bag phones and flip phones are beyond their comprehension, and you want them to know the difference between and i Phone and an Android?
    Can you say “Term Limits”?

    1. I’ve heard my grandkids talk of something called Instagram, is that something to do with Google or the Polaroid Corporation Mr. Pichai?

  8. You can’t use Google on iPhones?

    1. *the Google

    2. The apple is supposed to filter the google. All I get are dick pics..

      DICK PICS!!!!!!

      1. For the last time, stop sticking your phone down your pants and taking pictures.

        Also, stop playing with yourself.

        1. +1 Real Genius ref

    3. If she was actually playing a game, then no, you can’t get Google Play Store apps on Apple.

  9. Rep. Lamar Smith (R????Texas), for instance, asked Pichai to explain why “96 percent of the references to Trump are from liberal media?” The CEO noted that this was simply not true.

    Way to dog into the determination the cop was shooting down talking points. Apparently the google CEOs word is truth to Robby. Of course he probably couldn’t be bothered to watch Creepy Line which showed studies showing just this. The search effect has been pretty well documented. But Robby trusts this particular CEO as a fountain of truth. Way to fight the power Robby.

    1. He did a damn fine job of making Google look virtuous. He completely avoided using the word ‘surveillance’ and the defense contract that they were working on wasn’t even touched on. I wonder if that puts green in your pocket or just gets the keyword ‘Soave’s rank bumped up a couple of notches.

      1. Or the continued tracking post opt out. Working with China to spy on their citizens. Their inviting of programmers into pitch meetings and then steeling their technologies. Their buy and crash of competing products. Google is fucking evil.

    2. In an era where “build a wall” is linguistically ambiguous, anyone with a college education can find major holes in the studies you cite AND in the most generous reading of the headline. “Liberal media” is fuzzy, “96%” is fuzzy (numerator? denominator?, etc.). “references to Trump” describes nothing particular in the SE world. And so on. The congressman from Tx might even have a staffer that could make the question something difficult for the CEO to duck, but that wouldn’t play well to the rubes that elected him (like you, I guess).

      1. I mean, it sounds accurate. Trump is big news pretty much all the time now and the media knows it. That’s why they cover every little thing he does.

        What the CEO should have said is “Because Trump makes them money you fucking imbecile.”

  10. If Google is a public company and can do what they want, why are they testifying in front of Congress?

    1. Because they are afraid they will get regulated, in a fashion they don’t want.

      1. I’m fine with them not being regulated, I just want them to lose their special protections.

        1. Is it libertarian to want to smash monopolies, particularly when they can control speech? I don’t want to see them regulated, but I don’t want them to have the final say in who’s allowed to speak.

          1. a special protection is just a regulation that protects those who pay the most to those who make protections

  11. Guess Which Congressman Thought a Malfunctioning iPhone Was Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Fault

    It could literally be any one of those feckless morons.

    1. although, I will say I am beginning a search for a new phone and having a linux based operating system NOT from Google or Apple or China, is a requirement. I have discovered you can buy such a phone from Samsung, if you buy it directly from them.

      1. There is another open source OS out there now. Give me a minute.

        1. Look up “Librem Pure OS” to find an example of this.

      2. But Samsung still locks their boot loaders because they’re trying to get into the government “protected” market.

    2. Please do not insult feckless morons by associating them with Congressmen. Thank you.

      1. OK, how about “rancid shit swizzlers” instead?

    3. Exactly.

      Remember the one who asked if stationing too many troops on Guam could cause it to capsize?

      We are talking about a body made up of men and women who are several cards short of a full deck. I think the chamber doesn’t have any windows because most of them would find it hard to resist licking the windows and then the public would soon realize what sorts of folks they are electing. Politics is a jobs program for people with cognitive disabilities.

      1. That’s my congressman, Hank Johnson.

      2. People who can do, people who can’t teach, and people who can’t teach go into politics.

  12. ” Rep. Ted Lieu (D??Calif.) even suggested that those accusing Google of bias were wasting time, since it’s a private company and can do as it pleases.”
    So does the Democrat from California also support the concept that a one-man bakery shop is a private company that also can do as it pleases even if what it pleases is to not bake a cake for a gay wedding?

    1. No, not that company.

    2. Only if they provide as many BJs and campaign dollars as Google. (And secret surveillance data.)

  13. Rep. Lamar Smith (R????Texas), for instance, asked Pichai to explain why “96 percent of the references to Trump are from liberal media?”

    Maybe because the “liberal media” is obsessed with Trump?

  14. I’m opposed to the idea of having a ruling intelligentsia because I believe no one is smart enough or omniscient enough to make decisions for individuals that are better than each individual can for themselves, but even if I was for it, what passes for “intelligentsia” is a joke.

    Congress members are dumber than the average. They have serious intellectual deficits, yet have convinced themselves of just the opposite.

    1. but even if I was for it, what passes for “intelligentsia” is a joke.

      Translation: People who are educated… Translation: People who went to four year universities.

      1. Even if they took 6 years.

  15. I only saw about 10 minutes of the coverage for this testimony but there WERE relevant questions asked, it was not only just bumbling old idiots asking questions. Like the guy asking about data collection and what Google is keeping or the questions about Google making a censored search engine for Communist Chinese.

    For all of a libertarian magazines/websites supposed quest to protect personal data I would you would lead with something a little more substantive than moron Steve King asking something retarded. Here is a nice article from the NYT on something I would expect Reason to publish, but has not.

    “Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret” NYT Dec. 10 2018,

    I think you guys should be a little more concerned with corporate infringment on privacy (not just government) that is hidden behind layers of TOS and legalese that no one understands. But hey, that is just me.

  16. It is part time to break up Google into little Googlettes. James Damore should be installed as the chief engineer of several of them.

    1. That would be awesome! I can picture him being asked to get more out of Google as Chief Engineer and him coming back with, “I cannae do it, Captain! The warp engines cannae handle any more!”

    2. James Damore, patron saint of disaffected, anti-social, spectrum-inhabiting incels.

      1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland; patron saint of carny-barking loons.

      2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland; a vapid troll with nothing but the same bile and accusations ad nauseam.

        1. If you didn’t like repetitive bile, you wouldn’t be here for comment threads in which disaffected right-wingers prance around in silly libertarian drag, whine about losing the culture war, and bitch about liberals and progress.

          1. Thank you for illuminating that the left regards freedom of speech and open discourse as “right-wing” culture war stuff.

          2. In actual fact…YOU wouldn’t be here, Irreverent Arthur Licking Kukeland.

            You just cannot help yourself, being a projection addict as are all left-wing kooks and cuckoos.

      3. To the pea-brains of left-wing idiots such as yourself, Reviled, “idiocy” and “idiosyncrasy” are one and the same.

        Except…they’re not. They’re worlds apart.

        Just like you and Reality.

        Hey, can you handle one-sentence paragraphs, Bastich?

  17. It wasn’t a malfunctioning iPhone. It was a google search result.

    1. And if he mentions Android immediately after, it’s obvious he knows the difference in systems.

      Robby’s borrowing from the Shikha Dalmia School of Journalistic Integrity for this article I guess.

    2. Yeah, the CEO appears clueless. I use YouTube, Google, and Gmail on my iPhone more than any other apps because in Safari I use Google search. And when something is linked in my Gmail Chrome opens up.

  18. By his logic, if someone spray paints rude accusations against him on his car, then the car company is to blame for libeling him, not the person wielding the can of paint.

  19. Guess which reason progressive ignored the google hypocrisy and lies about censorship and in kind campaign contributions?

  20. Better headline–

    Guess Which Reason Writer Didn’t Realize that a Question about Web Based Content had nothing to do with the Brand of the Phone

    Ads, particularly ads from Google, are a common plague of online games.

    Steve King wasn’t asking about the phone, he was asking about the ad–and why it showed up via Google (which IS the pre-installed browser) on his granddaughters phone.

    But you all go ahead and think that your deliberate twisting of what he asked is real.

    That will help.

    1. Yep. This is a clinical case of fake news.

      1. I think the saddest thing is that it’s so widespread.

        Or how many ‘intlelligent’, ‘educated’ people heard this–

        “I have a seven-year-old granddaughter who picked up her phone during the election, and she’s playing a little game, the kind of game a kid would play,” King told Pichai. “And up on there pops a picture of her grandfather. And I’m not going to say into the record what kind of language was used around that picture of her grandfather, but I’d ask you: how does that show up on a seven-year-old’s iPhone, who’s playing a kid’s game?”

        and still insist on the fake news.

        He says nothing about hardware other than the brand of the phone. He’s talking about the game. And the ad that popped up in the game. Not the phone.

        And is it childishly obvious that he’s doing so. There is no ambiguity. Even his respond to the Google CEOs attempt to obfuscate (because that’s what he was doing) is perfectly fine. He admitted that it might be a different OS–but the core was still the ads that Google was peppered games with NOT the hardware.

        But, to the miniscule IQs of our self proclaimed ‘intelligentsia’ (are you ALL like Kirkland?) it’s King who’s the ignoramus–and not the folks who have the reading comprehension levels of pond scum.

        1. In what mechanism is it Google’s fault that a program that is offered by Apple and not Google, on hardware that is by Apple and not Google, does something that King doesn’t like?

          If you want to complain that Google doesn’t toe the conservative line, and offers results that haven’t been pre-scrubbed for orthodoxy to the party position, that’s fine. That’s something they actually do, though complaining about it is stupid. But complaining that a third-party app, running on a third-party operating system, on a third-party hardware device is somehow Google’s fault? No. Just… no.

        2. He says nothing about the brand of the game either. Was this a game that Google created? I still don’t see enough info to tell me that it was an appropriate question to ask the CEO of Google.

    2. “Guess Which Reason Writer Didn’t Realize that a Question about Web Based Content had nothing to do with the Brand of the Phone”

      Even better:
      Guess which commenter didn’t read the story closely enough to realize that the “offending” message was offered in a game, not on the web?

      “Steve King wasn’t asking about the phone, he was asking about the ad–and why it showed up via Google (which IS the pre-installed browser) on his granddaughters phone.”

      That must be why he immediately clarified that his granddaughter’s Iphone might have been running Android.

      1. You are aware that games, especially freemium games, have web based pop up ads right?

        Not that it matters because I guarantee that never happened to King’s granddaughter.

      2. There are countless web based games one can play. There are sites devoted to aggregating them if you don’t want to look for them yourself.

        And most of them pay for themselves with ads.

        But look, gramps, I understand that the intertubes are hard for you with their eeemales and their worldwebs, but have your nurse read this to you after she changes you, okay?

        1. Git off my lawn.

          But how are “countless web based games” Google’s problem?

          It sounds like the real problem is that somebody gave a 7-year-old an Internet device, without teaching her to avoid bad content.

          This is ALSO not Google’s problem.

          1. What he was complaining about is that it’s damned near impossible for someone on the right to say something as innocuous as ‘vote GOP’ and get past Google’s censorbots–but shit like that ad gets through routinely.

            But MY point was that it wasn’t an ignorant question–no matter how many times you, and Robby, and the rest of the ‘I am smart’ crowd try to twist it into being one.

            You CAN access games on Google that allow ads, and some of those ads are things that people wouldn’t want popping up on kids games–which is one of the lines Google uses to justify it’s censoring of right wing content–‘for the children’.

            So yes, the question was perfectly valid and proper. And the shithead avoided it. With your blessing.

    3. You have literally no idea, other than the balance of probabilities, whether Google was responsible for that ad, and nor does Steve King.

    4. You have literally no idea, other than the balance of probabilities, whether Google was responsible for that ad, and nor does Steve King.

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  23. And yet author Niall Ferguson has stated that “Silicon Valley will never again allow [a Republican to win the American Presidential election].” Silicon Valley is obnoxiously left-wing, and there cannot be any rational argument against this scurrilous and obvious fact.

    1. Yes, yes, Silicon Valley is left-wing, just like the media is. And reality has a left-wing bias, too.

  24. Frankly, as the Damore case showed, extreme left wing bias IS a problem at Google.

    And more ignorant and more of an asshat than King.

  25. A political ad popping up in a game is probably not due to a malfunctioning phone.
    The ad selection was possibly tailored by Google metadata mining due to previous searches on that phone.

    Any one thrilled by pop-up ads selected by Google based on data mining? Really?

  26. No mention of Rep. Ted Poe’s moronic demand to know if Google can track his movement without providing any information about what apps he’s installed? Seriously, people who know nothing about technology should ask their staff to teach them, or keep their mouths shut in Congressional hearings.

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