Irony Overload: Google CEO Sundar Pichai Says ‘Free and Open Internet’ Under Attack


    In an interview with BBC News, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that he believes the free and open internet is under attack; a statement which many may find ironic given Google and YouTube's regular censorship of content on its platforms, including the purging of Breitbart News from search results leading up to the 2020 election.

    During the interview, Pichai stated: “I think the free and open internet has been a tremendous force for good and I think we take it for granted a bit. In each country now there's a debate about what speech is okay and what should be allowed.”

    He continued: “In some ways I think we pull back from the bigger picture where many countries around the world are restricting the flow of information and I think we are drawing much more rigid boundaries. I hope there are stronger voices – big companies do advocate for it, Google has proudly stood for freedom of expression and the flow of information in a free and open way – but I do think the model is being attacked.”

    Pichai also argued against the description of Google as a “surveillance capitalist,” despite the fact that the company made $55.3 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, the majority of which came from its ads business where the company has been accused of using its ability to track users to gain an edge over competitors.

    This week alone Google-owned YouTube took down a video featuring Donald Trump from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Breitbart News reported:

    The video featured coverage of Donald Trump's class action lawsuit against Big Tech companies.

    YouTube issued a strike against the organization behind CPAC, the American Conservative Union, on July 9 and banned the organization's account from posting for one week.

    As a result, YouTube has prevented ACU from sharing content from CPAC 2021 Part 2 in Dallas, Texas, including former President Donald Trump's speech on Sunday, July 11.

    “It is clear that YouTube censored CPAC because we stood with former President Donald Trump on his lawsuit against Big Tech,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “This is yet another example of Big Tech censoring content with which they disagree in order to promote the political positions they favor.”

    In a comment to Breitbart News, a YouTube spokeswoman said the video, which featured research from the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases & Urban Health and Saint Barnabas Medical Center, had been taken down for “medical misinformation.”

    “At YouTube, we enforce our Community Guidelines equally for everyone, regardless of the speaker,” said the YouTube spokeswoman. “Based on guidance from the CDC, FDA and other local health authorities, our COVID-19 misinformation policy doesn't currently allow content recommending Hydroxychloroquine (HQN) as an effective treatment or prevention method for the virus. In accordance with this policy, we removed several videos of the press conference that contained the claim that HQN is effective in combating COVID-19. Thousands of videos of this press conference that do not contain this claim–including those critical of YouTube–remain on our platform.”

    Pichai also stated that he allows his kids to use YouTube and does not set strict rules on its usage. “This generation needs to learn to adapt to technology – it's going to be a big part of their lives – so I've encouraged them to develop boundaries on their own,” Pichai said.

    Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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