Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during the first US House hearing on Tuesday was asked a series of questions among which was one that inquired the reason on why image searches for the word “idiot” lead to photos of U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the hearing, Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren asked: “Right now, if you google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that. How would that happen?”
The related search in the engine show keywords ‘feku’ and ‘pappu’.
Pichai stated that no one manually intervened on a particular search result, and said it had to do with the keywords users typed in.
“We have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of webpages pages in our index. We take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it,” he was quoted as having said in the video.
He observed that Google uses that information to find and then rank the best search results.
“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” Lofgren asked after the response.
An article in July from The Guardian says that one major cause is due to British band Green Day’s American Idiot being used by British protesters this year, referring to Trump.
Saying that the development had taken place on American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website Reddit, the article stated, “But since then there’s also been a concerted campaign to capitalize on that association, and manipulate Google’s algorithm, by linking the word to the picture.”
The CEO was also asked about bias against conservatives which he refuted, during the hearing.