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Photo: Olly Curtis/Future Publishing/Getty Images

One of the more striking parts of Tuesday's Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the ways tech companies manipulate users was a Google executive's insistence that the company doesn't employ "persuasive technologies," aka "dark patterns," on YouTube or anywhere else.

What they're saying: "Dark patterns and persuasive technologies [are] not core to how we design our products at Google," Google's Maggie Stanphill said, in response to a question from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Between the lines: To be clear, Google and YouTube do have any number of recommendation engines, autoplay options, etc., but Google doesn't consider any of those to meet the definition of persuasive technologies or dark patterns.

Watch here:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.