Open Thread: Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King, Old Man, Yells At (the) Cloud

Post title borrowed from this response:

BUT SERIOUSLY… Per Newsweek:

Republican representative Steve King requested Google CEO Sundar Pichai give the government the names of more than 1,000 employees who oversee the company’s search engine to determine whether its algorithm was biased, The Hill reported. King said he wanted to look at employees’ social media and see if they’re biased.

As Pichai appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats questioned the tech giant’s privacy regulations, The New York Times reported. Republicans expressed distrust for the company, questioning whether it stifles conservative search results.

“There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives,” King said, alleging that Google has an inherent ideological tilt because it is located in the Democrat-heavy Silicon Valley. “What we don’t know are who are these thousand people and we don’t know what their social media looks like.”

California Republican Kevin McCarthy voiced similar concerns. “All of these topics — competition, censorship, bias and others — point to one fundamental question that demands the nation’s attention,” he said. “Are America’s technology companies serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control?”…

Pichai said at the beginning of his testimony, “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” according to The Guardian. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions—and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.” He also said that the employees do not choose which news outlets show up in searches, saying the search engine adapts based on what users select…

King’s real butthurt: When you’ve brought up your kids to believe that everyone (who matters) hates immigrants, people of color, and diversity in all its forms…


“Some kinda hand-me-down”, indeed.






65 replies
  1. 1
    matt says:

    Hey – fuck you, Iowa.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let me answer to Steve King for Pichai: Fuck you.

    Also let me point out that facts have a liberal bias.

  3. 3
    germy says:

    Rep. Steve King is demanding to know the names of Google search employees so he can go through their social media profiles to find out if they’re liberals.

    Ahh.. HUAC. Bring back those rockin’ 1950s…

  4. 4
    JaneE says:

    If corporations are people too, they have a right to free speech, including the right not to speak. If media platforms are required to allow all forms of speech, when did they become a branch of government? Does King still think we have a fairness doctrine?

  5. 5
    dm says:

    Don’t laugh, they’re working the refs, just like they did with the media, and just like they did with the Facebook news algorithm. You know that Google (or one of the other companies) is going to look at this and find a way to give the bullies what they want.

  6. 6
    randy khan says:

    @JaneE:

    King does not want the Fairness Doctrine. He wants only good things reported about conservatives and only bad things reported about liberals.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    The Google hearing has kicked off! A GOP congressman is grilling Google's CEO over a PJ Media "study" that proves Google favors liberal search results. The whole study is based on this chart from notorious kook Sharyl Attkisson. pic.twitter.com/R29vjF7JwT— Will Sommer (@willsommer) December 11, 2018

    My local sinclair station features Attkisson on two of their/my channels, by the way. They really want me to accept her arguments.

  8. 8
    germy says:

    @randy khan:

    King does not want the Fairness Doctrine. He wants only good things reported about conservatives and only bad things reported about liberals.

    Well then he’s in luck.

  9. 9
    cain says:

    If you want to know about shitty algorithms check out this tweet by a woman who lost her baby due to a miscarriage and big tech companies assumed it was a good birth and was sending her baby ads. A horrible and cruel thing to happen.

  10. 10
    MazeDancer says:

    Open Thread: Good-Paying, Unusual Pet Request:

    Would you like to be paid to foster a nice kitty? Good money. Food, litter, and vet bills covered.

    Do you live within driving distance of Denver?

    If answer to both is yes, please contact me at PostCardPatriots.com (Click nym, scroll down, click “Contact”)

    Very dear friend of mine’s brother scalded himself in the shower many months ago. Has been on intravenous antibiotics, a long time, as he is diabetic and wounds don’t heal. He also has early onset dementia. And 3 cats.

    Docs want him to have zero cats. To minimize risk of infection to still healing wounds. He – understandably – lives for his cats. So, he is willing to “foster” one “temporarily”. The one that sometimes poops outside the box. (Will be investigating if that is an underlying medical condition. Cat will arrive with all shots and medical clearance.)

    My friend has considerable means and wants her brother to be happy.

    Excellent gig for cat lover looking for extra income. Likely to start this Friday.

  11. 11
    RSA says:

    In our lauded capitalist system, Steve King is free to create a new search engine company that meets his requirements.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    Republican representative Steve King requested Google CEO Sundar Pichai give the government the names of more than 1,000 employees who oversee the company’s search engine to determine whether its algorithm was biased, The Hill reported. King said he wanted to look at employees’ social media and see if they’re biased.

    King looking at algorithms? Like he’d even know what he was looking at!

  13. 13
    ruemara says:

    These are the dumbest villains.

  14. 14
    cain says:

    @MazeDancer:
    If I was still living in Denver I would have jumped at this opportunity. :( I really miss having critters. But I’ve been moving around a lot and haven’t been sticking around long enough to get a pet.

  15. 15
    Gravenstone says:

    @germy: One hopes that if Google is forced to divulge those names, that each individual takes the opportunity to post, “fuck Rep. Steve King with a rusty pitchfork “.

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    I can’t say I love Silicon Valley’s tech firms or trust them completely, but at least I’m not bat shit stupid like some Republican Congress critters.

  17. 17
    different-church-lady says:

    @kindness: Injuries: root for them.

  18. 18
    Chip Daniels says:

    “Sir, this is Arby’s.”

  19. 19
    misterpuff says:

    Those algore rhythms have calves the size of cantalopes.

  20. 20
    trnc says:

    Dear Representative Cantaloupe Head,
    What you think is liberal bias is really just most peoples’ responses to actual quotes of yours.

    Yours,
    Not Actually Stupid

  21. 21
    trnc says:

    @debbie: I assume the algorithm he is looking for is 1.

  22. 22
    zhena gogolia says:

    This is pretty funny, where she asks him why when you search “Idiot Images” a picture of Donald Trump pops up:

    https://twitter.com/BettyBowers/status/1072534668883476481

  23. 23
    scott (the other one) says:

    California Republican Kevin McCarthy voiced similar concerns. “All of these topics — competition, censorship, bias and others — point to one fundamental question that demands the nation’s attention,” he said. “Are America’s technology companies serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control?”…

    As always, every time Kevin McCarthy speaks in public, the response should be, “hey, what did you mean when, on June 15, 2016, you said ‘There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump'”?

    Every. Single. Time.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    No one would know, or care, if any of them came to work tomorrow. All they do is this bullshit. They do nothing productive.

    It must be soul-destroying, really. One big crybaby whine and they know it’s bullshit.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dm:

    They probably were thinking about doing that, until Facebook got publicly pantsed by Parliament in the UK:

    https://motherboard.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/59vwez/nearly-250-pages-of-devastating-internal-facebook-documents-posted-online-by-uk-parliament

    That wasn’t just directed at Facebook. That was a clear warning to other tech companies that they could get the same treatment if they’re not careful. And Google has a LOT of contracts with private companies that they don’t want to risk losing in a privacy scandal.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So I guess I’m in moderation? Weird. FYWP.

  27. 27

    “There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives,”

    Math and logic do have well-known liberal biases, to be fair.

  28. 28
    MazeDancer says:

    @cain:

    Thanks. Hoping someone will fit the bill. Or knows someone who would.

    Someone who loves cats, but can’t afford another, can have a “free” cat. Plus extra income.

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    Dipshit member of Congress appears to have too much time on his hands.

    And on the subject of TIME, has anybody informed Fat Bastard that he didn’t get “Person of the Year” like he wanted?

  30. 30
    Al Z. says:

    @zhena gogolia: This is like Homer defined in real life.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    There are plenty of legitimate issues they could ask goodie about but predictably they chose this bullshit.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Balloon Juice is not on that chart! You all know what you have to do!!!!!!!!!

  33. 33
    karen marie says:

    These are the same fucking idiots who oppose an open internet. Kill me now.

  34. 34
    Tony Jay says:

    Open Thread? Good. Mentioning Teresa May in the same thread as a Party Leader and Legislative knife-fighter like Nancy Pelosi would be a sad contrast for the former and basically an insult to the latter.

    Anyway. Word on the Westminster street is that enough Tory MPs have sent in letters to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee (basically the Union President for Tory MPs who aren’t in Government posts) to trigger a leadership challenge to May. It’s as yet unconfirmed, but if it is true it means that May’s ever-so-brave refusal to let Parliament vote on her Anthrax and Tyre Rims Deal was the last straw for a bunch of moderate (in comparison to the nutty Extreme Brexit cult) Tory MPs and they want her gone.

    Will she lose the leadership vote? God knows, but it’s unlikely that Tory MPs of any stripe would want to give her the credibility boost of a victory when all it would mean would be they’re right back in the same shitty situation, with a Deal they can’t pass and the choice between a No Deal or a (possible) No Brexit looming.

    One thing that is for sure. If she loses, her deal is dead and any successor would simply – have – to ask for an extension of Article 50 (at whatever price Europe demands) or risk getting blowtorched by Parliament for risking a No Deal. A 2nd Referendum would be very, very likely.

    Interesting times.

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    @Tony Jay: I enjoyed reading about how May getting stuck in her car when meeting Merkel was a metaphor for the whole Brexit situation.

    Also, if you haven’t seen it over on Cole’s Twitter feed, Andy Serkis as Gollum as Theresa May.

    Andy Serkis resurrects Lord of the Rings' Gollum character to shred Theresa May in a spoof video pic.twitter.com/cMSw9zYKYz— The Independent (@Independent) December 10, 2018

    Click through for video. So good.

  36. 36
    Eric S. says:

    Jumping to the end to drop this comment…

    Realizing there are legitimate political and PR concerns I would live for Google’s response to be, “Sir, our search algorithm is biased. Biased towards truth and facts.”

  37. 37
    Tony Jay says:

    I love a bit of Serkis. He’s got his head screwed on and doesn’t spare the whip when needed.

  38. 38
    JR says:

    King wants the employee information so his Nazi pals can intimidate them. End of story.

  39. 39
    GregB says:

    Mr. King, why did your 7 year old granddaughter Google: Show me a picture of a shitheel?

  40. 40
    Yarrow says:

    @Tony Jay: He’s so good in that video. “My Brexit!”

  41. 41
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MazeDancer: oh, I wish I could! Alas…I will ask around!

  42. 42

    @Tony Jay:

  43. 43
    Wag says:

    That last video proves it. Even Rep King’s own children, the parents of the grand daughter in question, can’t stand him, and their Google algorithms come up with anti-Rep King websites.

  44. 44
    SFAW says:

    @debbie:

    King looking at algorithms? Like he’d even know what he was looking at!

    All he knows is that they’re historically Mooooslim — well, Ay-rab — and that’s enough for him.

    He is such a fucking moron.

  45. 45
    Buskertype says:

    the way that ended up on his grandaughter’s phone was because her grandfather is a white-supremacist

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara:

    These are the dumbest villains.

    We’re on Season Six of a syndicated crime organization that should have been cancelled at the end of Season One.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    @Tony Jay:

    One thing that is for sure. If she loses, her deal is dead and any successor would simply – have – to ask for an extension of Article 50 (at whatever price Europe demands) or risk getting blowtorched by Parliament for risking a No Deal. A 2nd Referendum would be very, very likely.

    Suddenly Corbyn’s restraint looks positively prophetic, Again.

  48. 48
    joel hanes says:

    @matt:

    Three of Iowa’s four Congressional districts will be represented by Democratic women in the next Congress.

    I hope you meant to say “fuck you, Iowa Republicans”

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    California Republican Kevin McCarthy voiced similar concerns. “All of these topics — competition, censorship, bias and others — point to one fundamental question that demands the nation’s attention,” he said. “Are America’s technology companies serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control?”

    “And we damn well expected them to be the latter. For us.”

  50. 50
    Gvg says:

    he should say “get a warrant for each employee” also name specific laws broken to get each warrant.
    The employees could sue Google I would expect, if CEO was stupid enough to comply.
    Congress has legitimate interests in overseeing all companies, but this petty bullying would be illegal.

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gvg:

    but this petty bullying would be illegal.

    That horse left the barn during Whitewater.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: You know what you did!

  53. 53
    stinger says:

    @matt: Right back atcha.

  54. 54
    trnc says:

    @Gravenstone: Probably understood, but it would be nothing short of outrageous if names were divulged to a member of the govt without any evidence or a court order, based only on the hunch of cantaloupe man. This is what gov’t overreach actually looks like.

  55. 55
    Tony Jay says:

    I’m not her greatest fan, obviously, but if May ever wants to gut David Cameron with her bare hands, I’ll give her an alibi. Least I could do, given the circumstances.

    Then again, she’s the former Home Secretary who oversaw the Windrush scandal and pioneered the ‘Hostile Environment’ for immigrants, so on balance she gets as much sympathy as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

  56. 56
    Tony Jay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yup. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

    When walking a fine line, walk gently and without great swings.

  57. 57
    Fester Addams says:

    @debbie:

    …to determine whether its algorithm was biased

    He thinks they’re saying Al Gore rhythms.

  58. 58
    MazeDancer says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Many thanks. Hoping someone needs a cat and money.

    Or maybe not totally ready to commit to a cat. But would like one. And money.

  59. 59
    Pogonip says:

    I wonder if these tech companies will eventually be declared public, or quasi-public, utilities? An awful lot of people seem to think they can’t live without them. Then again, a lot of women I know couldn’t live without Myspace, and they’re still kicking!

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    King demands to be shown the series of tubes. “The late esteemed Senator Ted Stevens filled me in on all of this.” //

  61. 61
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Kay:

    No one would know, or care, if any of them came to work tomorrow. All they do is this bullshit. They do nothing productive.

    It must be soul-destroying, really. One big crybaby whine and they know it’s bullshit.

    I’m not so sure in Steve King’s case. Expect the likes of Louis Gohmert and Steve King and Matt Gaetz et al. are so unconquerably indivisibly fatuously dense that the stupid burns their brains like tertiary stage syphilis. (Forty-plus years of movement conservatism is a helluva drug!) And their complete lack of self-awareness and the Dunning-Krueger effect tends to reinforce their childish confirmation bias.

    imo

    Would agree completely w/your assessment re: someone like Kevin McCarthy, who showed his ass on live TV by saying the quiet bits out loud and admitting that the Benghazi hearings primary purpose were to erode HClinton’s approvals and paint her as untrustworthy. That oily-as-an-undertaker apparatchik *knows* it’s all bullshit, but plays the cynical lying game b/c the press corpse don’t call him onnit and there’s no penalty for lying. IOKIYAR, baby!

    Notta big point cuz the result is the same, just an observation re: the taxonomy of true-believin’ kool-aid drinkers vs. cynical slippery operatives.

  62. 62
    Ken says:

    “How does that show up on a 7-year old’s iPhone who’s playing a kid’s game?”

    “That is truly the most disgusting p*rn I’ve ever seen, Rep. King. Here, let me show you this feature called ‘private browsing’ so your computer doesn’t remember the sites you visited. That will keep your grandkids safe from these horrors.”

  63. 63
    Cckids says:

    @MazeDancer: I will talk to my daughter, she’s in Denver & loves cats. She & her roommate have been discussing getting one.

  64. 64
    slag says:

    Clearly someone’s not getting my same Google News Alerts, which are constantly filled with some of the most ridiculous rightwing sh*t imaginable. And most of the alert topics themselves are utterly benign. Technology will not save us.

  65. 65
    PenandKey says:

    Apparently not only does King have trouble understanding who owns iPhones, he can’t tell the difference between public and private employees. I understand why it wasn’t said, but Google’s only response to that asinine demand should have been “get a warrant”.

Comments are closed.