Sundar Pichai asked about YouTube’s ‘Frazzledrip’ content during testimony on Capitol Hill
Google CEO Sundar Pichai was grilled by lawmakers before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill Tuesday and was quizzed about videos that discuss Hillary Clinton “sexually abusing and consuming the remains of children, often in satanic rituals,” on YouTube.
During his testimony, Pichai was asked why Google-owned YouTube has videos about “Frazzledrip” – a theory that suggests Hillary Clinton and her staff drink the blood of young children during a Satanic ritual and wear masks made of human skin.
The “Frazzledrip” conspiracy theory alleges that a video exists on the Dark Web of Clinton and her former aide Huma Abedin performing the said ritual, with alleged “screenshots” of the video making their way onto Internet forums.
YouTube videos about “Frazzledrip” have been viewed millions of times, and during Pichai’s questioning, Democrat Jamie Raskin jumped right in and asked if Pichai knew about the popular underground theory.
In response, Mr. Pichai said that he was “not aware of the specifics about it.”
Raskin followed up by claiming that YouTube’s recommendation engine was highlighting videos about conspiracy theories that accuse Hillary Clinton of “sexually abusing and consuming the remains of children, often in satanic rituals.”
Frazzledrip is related to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory which claims that the Clintons, and other high-level politicians and Hollywood elites, sexually abuse and kill children.
The Frazzledrip theory started earlier this year after claims surfaced that a snuff video featuring Hillary Clinton exists on the Dark Web.
Supposed stills from the video show “Hillary Clinton” and her former aide Huma Abedin supposedly lying on a table tennis table after allegedly harvesting the adrenalin glands from a child’s body.
The theory has been “debunked” by unreliable, left-bias “fack-checkers” Snopes, but has been widely ignored by the more credible fact-checking community.
Pichai acknowledged that YouTube “needs to do better” in refining the videos suggested to users by its recommendation engine.
Mr. Pichai was asked questions about Google’s seemingly left-wing bias in its search engine results.
In response to accusations from some Republican voices, including US President Donald Trump, who has previously accused Google of “rigging” search results with negative news about himself and fellow Republicans, the Google boss asserted to the committee that individual employees are not able to influence the results it shows users.
Several reports have emerged recently that suggest political bias at Google, including a leaked video in which high-level executives discuss ways to “correct” the “problem” of Trump winning the US election over Hillary Clinton.
More recently, a leaked email thread showed Google employees seemingly discussing ways to suppress results from Breitbart, Drudge and The Daily Caller, claiming they are “not legitimate news sources” due to them not being “close to our views.”
“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote.
Yet, Mr. Pichai contradicted the leaked discussions by his staff, telling Congressman Lamar Smith that “it is not possible for an individual employee to manipulate our search results.”
Pichai didn’t divulge whether it would be possible for a team of Google staffers to collaborate on a censorship campaign, however.
In a bid to understand how its search algorithms work, the Google CEO was asked why images of President Trump appear at the top of Google Images when you search the word “idiot.”
Speaking about bias accusations later in the hearing, Congressman Ted Lieu said:
“If you want positive search results, do positive things.
“If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”
Scrutinized about its handling of people’s data, Mr. Pichai repeated multiple times that users have the choice over how much data they share and said that 20 million people a day adjust their settings themselves.
“It’s an area we want to do better, as a company that has grown a lot it’s a complicated matter,” he continued.
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