Daily Digest: Google hearing and Twitter politics

by Kyle Potter

Here’s your Daily Digest for Wednesday, Sept. 21:


Google under fire

The chairman of the internet giant Google will appear before the U.S. Senate at an antitrust hearing today. 

Amid allegations that Google tailors the results from its search engine to favor its own internet products and services – think Google Maps, Google Shopping, Picasa and many, many, MANY more – chairman Eric Schmidt will testify about how the company’s mysterious search algorithm works in front of the Senate’s Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights, according to the New York Times. 

A handful of Google’s competitors will also speak at the 2 p.m. hearing, including bigwigs from the shopping search engine Nextag, review service Yelp and travel client Expedia.

Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. and chairman of the subcommittee, said the hearing is less a matter of antitrust than it is to ensure Google isn’t abusing its considerable web presence.

“Does it bias its search results in favor of its own business offerings and services?” he told the NY Times. “That’s the crux of what we’re looking at.”



Ye be warned, Twitter users: political campaign ads will soon be part of your social media lives.

Politico reports that the California-based company began selling ads to political organizations this week – it hired a political marketing executive in hopes of cashing in on the 2012 elections. A source told Politico that Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are already on board.

Much like the corporate advertisers that already advertise on Twitter, the political ads won’t show up in users’ timelines, but can appear as promoted tweets, promoted trends or promoted accounts that users may be suggested to follow.


Sept. 21 in history:

-1981: Confirmed by a 99-0 Senate vote, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court bench.

-1991: USA Basketball announces the first ten members of its “Dream Team” that would go on to win the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Chris Mullins, David Robinson, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.