McCarthy: Google 'controlling the internet' in a way that hurts conservatives

McCarthy: Google 'controlling the internet' in a way that hurts conservatives
© Anna Moneymaker

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE (R-Calif.) slammed Google on Wednesday as part of his ongoing criticism of the company's alleged bias against conservatives.

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The California Republican during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday slammed the company for its work with China, its search results accidentally showing one of the ideologies of the California Republican Party as “Nazism” and for work it did to mobilize the Latino vote.

“It’s their own executive that they said they have a silent donation where they tried to help people to help Hillary,” he said, referencing a report by Fox News's Tucker Carlson that described an email sent by Google’s Multicultural Marketing department head.

The email, which was published by Breitbart, shows Eliana Murillo describing the company’s efforts to help a nonpartisan Latino voter mobilization nonprofit, which Murillo described as a “silent donation.”

The emails don’t show Murillo expressing support for a candidate with the mobilization efforts.

A Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill Murillo's expressed personal views and not those of the company. 

"The employee's email is an expression of her personal political views about the outcome of the 2016 election and those views do not reflect any official stance by the company," the spokesperson said. "We have nearly 90,000 employees comprising a broad array of political affiliations.  The email itself explicitly notes that she is speaking personally, and that Google’s efforts were non-partisan."

Regardless, in a tweet on Tuesday, McCarthy wrote that Google “[c]laims to be fair, but gave a 'silent donation' to a left-wing group to stop Trump."

During the Fox News interview, McCarthy also drew attention to Google’s reported work to create a Chinese search engine in compliance with the country’s strict censorship rules even as it recently said it would end a contract with the Pentagon to help provide an artificial intelligence assisting in military drone use.

The House majority leader also emphasized how much control Google has in directing the flow of information online.

“Take for instance 90 percent of all searches come through Google. if you don’t make that first page on Google, only 5 percent go to the next,” he said. “They’re controlling the internet in a much different way.”

McCarthy drew attention to one snafu in which Google’s sidebar listed the California GOP’s ideology as Nazism as a result of someone briefly vandalizing its Wikipedia page which Google automatically pulls information from.

He has led the charge among Republican politicians in slamming Google, as well as Facebook and Twitter, for being allegedly biased against conservatives.

McCarthy has fired off a series of tweets against the companies and also supported the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman’s push to have Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before the committee, which he did last week.

McCarthy’s attacks have reverberated in the White House, where President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE has also joined in the pile-on against technology companies, saying that they have been “treading on very, very troubled territory.”

Google defended itself against McCarthy and others' charges that it's biased. 

"The suggestion that Google's products or actions are politically biased is simply wrong," a Google spokesperson said over email. "For the past decade, we’ve worked alongside other technology companies to provide users with voting information before they head to the polls, and have offered tools to protect elections from hacking and digital attacks."

This story was updated at 2:09 p.m.