- On Wednesday, the CEOs of some of the biggest US tech companies testified in front of lawmakers about allegations of antitrust violations, though many questions were off-topic.
- US Rep. Jim Jordan questioned Google CEO Sundar Pichai about allegations of anti-conservative bias in Google’s practices. After a colleague characterized his questions as “fringe conspiracy theories,” Jordan lashed out and interrupted lawmakers.
- Lawmakers slammed Jordan for his interruptions. Rep. Jamie Raskin yelled “Put your mask on!” before questioning was able to resume.
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Lawmakers slammed US Rep. Jim Jordan at Wednesday’s antitrust hearing after he repeatedly interrupted a colleague who criticized his questions alleging anti-conservative bias at Google.
At the hearing, lawmakers questioned the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple about allegations of anticompetitive behavior. But Jordan and others used their time to ask about other concerns, including the spread of coronavirus-related misinformation and perceived biases in the moderation of political content.
When it was Jordan’s turn to speak, he grilled Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai about whether the company was biased toward certain presidential candidates. Jordan pointed to an email before the 2016 election, leaked to Fox News, in which a Google executive indicated a desire to drive up Latinx voter turnout.
Jordan then asked Pichai to “assure Americans” that Google wouldn’t do anything with its features to help Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, beat President Donald Trump in November’s presidential election. Pichai disputed Jordan’s allegations, saying Google’s work regarding the 2020 election was “fully nonpartisan.”
After Jordan’s time ended, the next lawmaker in line to ask questions, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, took a jab at Jordan and told tech executives, “I’d like to redirect your attention to antitrust law rather than fringe conspiracy theories.”
Jordan interrupted Scanlon, repeating his claims about the leaked email. Lawmakers in the room lashed out at the Ohio congressman, telling him his time had expired. The House subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. David Cicilline, repeatedly banged his gavel in an attempt to get Jordan to stop. Jordan continued, insisting he needed a chance to respond to Scanlon’s comments.
Rep. Jamie Raskin repeatedly yelled, “Put your mask on!” House rules require all hearing attendees to wear face masks except when it’s their turn to speak.
Jordan eventually quieted, and questioning resumed.
—Input (@inputmag) July 29, 2020