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Google committed an unforced error in failing to show before Congress to explain how it is protecting social media and search from outside influences. Congress took note. There was an empty chair in both hearings with the nameplate of Google before it. The embarrassment was heightened by the presence of the CEO of Twitter and the COO of Facebook. If they could come, why not Google? To be fair, the company offered to send an attorney to testify, but that is not what the Congressmen and Senators wanted. They demanded top executives. To say that it was political theater is understatement, and Google certainly knew that, but in a spirit of public relations, it should have complied. The next time the company needs a favor from Congress, it will have explaining to do.