ELDER PATRIOT – The power of Internet giants Google and Facebook to change the outcome of elections has not only been established, according to these studies, but is highly likely to have already happened many times and in many places around the planet.
The evidence shows that when working in unison their influence over people’s perceptions and beliefs are overwhelming.
Researcher Robert Epstein explains that, “Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated.”
Those of us who do hundreds of searches everyday have witnessed how Google “buries” pro-Trump, pro free market, pro Democracy, and anti-immigration reporting by relegating sites offering those discussions to higher numbered pages, if it turns up anywhere.
Epstein continued, “…half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, …well within Google’s control.”
The 2016 election was decided by a 2.1% margin. In retrospect, does anyone still believe that the highly successful Donald Trump lost the popular vote to a miserable failed political figure?
Let’s examine the evidence.
According to Google Trends Donald Trump was trouncing all other candidates in search activity in 47 of 50 states from the outset of his campaign. As that pushed him higher in search rankings something suspicious happened.
Google employees chose to adjust numeric weightings in their search algorithms. This is a secret process that Google admits to doing 600 times a year.
The result was that searches for Donald Trump began returning negative stories at the top of page one of the search results. Google decision makers are well aware that 94% of users never leave the first page of results. This gives them massive leverage over what people actually see without engaging in outright censorship.
Facebook then permitted strategically timed computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz their platform with links to the pro-left stories.
“The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on lefty Internet sites such as Huffpo News and CNN, as well as on the Soros-backed Move-on and Black Lives Matter News. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction.
That’s only half of the story as far as Facebook is concerned. The social media mega-giant also began suspending pro-Trump sites for “fake” news and if bots – these were “right-wing” bots – were found to be driving traffic in a similar manner.
The bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Google-based operation to influence multiple year’s elections,” according to researchers Peter Stone and Greg Gordon. If Comey remains in charge at that agency don’t expect any penalties for Google and Facebook. We’ll be lucky if he doesn’t strengthen their powers.
Epstein’s research concluded well in advance of the 2016 election gave him the confidence to declare:
“Our new research leaves little doubt about whether Google has the ability to control voters. In laboratory and online experiments conducted in the United States, we were able to boost the proportion of people who favored any candidate by between 37 and 63 percent after just one search session. The impact of viewing biased rankings repeatedly over a period of weeks or months would undoubtedly be larger”.
Epstein becane convinced that, “Given how powerful this effect is, it’s possible that Google decided the winner of the Indian election.”
Think it couldn’t happen here? In 1876 technology catapulted Rutherford B. Hayes to the presidency when Western Union – the great communications giant of that day – did its best to assure that only positive news stories about Hayes appeared in newspapers nationwide.
That Trump prevailed in spite of these obstacles reveals just how popular he was. Is there any wonder what Mitch McConnell’s reason for telling President Trump there won’t be a single dollar spent on investigating the last election was?
While Congress wastes our time and money investigating whether the Russians influenced our election they are avoiding every discussion of who the real enemy of Democracy is.