Public interviews can be difficult, especially when the questioners take an adversarial position—or have little grasp of the subject matter.
Google’s head honcho, Sundar Pichai, made his debut before Congress on Tuesday, facing a wide range of inquiries, some more relevant than others, and some openly hostile—especially those about perceived bias in the platform’s algorithms.
The Capitol Hill grilling came as Google (and other big tech companies) wrap up a rough year of crises and recriminations. Google has seen criticism from employees force its hand, as well as public backlash to plans to offer a censored search engine in China and its handling of sexual harassment claims at home.
Beyond the perceived political bias in Google’s search products, lawmakers were interested in learning about data collection and use and the company’s plans for the Chinese market.
Pichai spent much of his testimony defending Google’s status as nonpartisan.