Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a company-wide email Friday, which Axios obtained, denying any effort to politically bias the company's search results and emphasizing that Google needs to remain politically neutral.
Why it matters: The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Google staffers had looked for ways to adjust search results in the wake of President Trump's first travel ban in 2017 — reinforcing conservatives' ire over what they have charged is censorship by Google-owned YouTube and anti-conservative bias in search results.
What they're saying: "It’s important to me that our internal culture continues to reinforce our mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our search results for a political end," Pichai's e-mail read. "This is absolutely false. We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda. The trust our users place in us is our greatest asset and we must always protect it. If any Googler ever undermines that trust, we will hold them accountable."
There's no evidence that Google has ever built political bias into its search algorithms. After the Journal story reporting the 2017 internal discussions about adjusting search results, Google emphasized that none of the ideas discussed were ever implemented.
What's next: The Department of Justice has a meeting scheduled for next week with state attorneys general to weigh potential action against Google and other major online platforms.
The full email: