House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Google for listing “Nazism” as an ideology of the California Republican Party less than a week before the state’s primary.
Google displayed the information in the “knowledge panel” next to search results, which listed Nazism alongside “fiscal conservatism” and “market liberalism” as ideologies of the state GOP. The search giant issued a statement saying the information had been retrieved from Wikipedia, which had been “vandalized.” It since has removed the erroneous information.
“We have systems in place that catch vandalism before it impacts search results, but occasionally errors get through,” Google said. “And that is what happened here.”
But the incident nonetheless fanned perceptions of the tech industry’s liberal bias.
“Sadly, this is just the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives,” the California congressman tweeted. “These damaging actions must be held to account.”
McCarthy is a leading contender to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the California Republican has been outspoken on the red-meat issue of social media bias.
Earlier this week, McCarthy posted a two-minute segment of a speech in which he claimed “conservative Christians are belittled or forced out of the public square” and accused social media companies of attempting to discredit or silence voices on the political right.
“I believe if we get criticized for our speech, or if they try to deny it, we should say it louder and more often,” McCarthy said in a video that, ironically, was circulated via social media.
McCarthy went on to cite a Gizmodo report of Facebook news curators suppressing stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s trending news section, and of Twitter rejecting a campaign ad from a Tennessee Republican in which she claimed to have stopped “the sale of baby body parts” — a reference to her opposition to fetal-tissue research. Twitter deemed the ad inflammatory.