Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has demanded that Google answer questions over allegations that it censored YouTube comments critical of the Chinese Communist Party – which the Silicon Valley giant told The Verge was simply a ‘technical error’ they are working to fix.
Hawley rejected the explanation in a Wednesday letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, calling it part of a “long disturbing pattern” of Google pandering to the CCP in order to curry favor with the Xi regime, and adding that “This kowtowing is unacceptable,” according to the Washington Times.
“Selling out American principles to curry favor with communist officials is no way to run an American business.”
— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) May 27, 2020
On Tuesday, Google was busted auto-deleting comments critical of the CCP, including “communist bandit” and “50-cent party” – “the latter term referring to a division of the Chinese Communist Party whose purpose is deflecting criticism fromm the Party by using sockpuppet accounts to spread online propaganda,” reads Hawley’s letter.
#YouTube “automatically” deletes a comment in Chinese, “Gongfei”, which means “communist bandit”, in 15 seconds.
This person tested 3 times, same result. #油管 15秒內自動刪除「共匪」留言，網友連試三次皆如此。
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) May 13, 2020
And as the Times notes, Hawley’s letter follows a similar correspondence from Rep. Jim Banks to Pichai demanding answers to similar questions over the platform’s decision to allegedly censor content critical of the CCP.