Does Google have bias?
It's the question that's at the center of a hearing being held Tuesday by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
The hearing will probe into Google's search engine and whether it censors conservative media and bloggers out of the top search results.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the subcommittee chairman, called the hearing after Google did not attend an April hearing on the topic. Facebook and Google attended.
"What makes the threat of political censorship so problematic is the lack of transparency, the invisibility," Cruz said at the hearing in April. "The ability for a handful of giant tech companies to decide if a particular speaker is disfavored."
President Trump has alleged that big tech companies have an anti-conservative bias. On Dec. 18, 2018, the president tweeted: "Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous!
Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous! Twitter, in fact, has made it much more difficult for people to join @realDonaldTrump. They have removed many names & greatly slowed the level and speed of increase. They have acknowledged-done NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
Google denied the claim in December, and is expected to continue denying the claim at the hearing.
Google has a history of skipping out on hearings. In September 2018, the company declined to attend a hearing where both Facebook and Twitter told lawmakers they were better prepared to prevent foreign interference. CEO Sundar Pichai eventually testified in December at a separate hearing.