Google Search Manipulation Can Swing Nearly 80 Percent of Undecided Voters

Google Search Manipulation Can Swing Nearly 80 Percent of Undecided Voters, by Allum Bokhari.

By inserting negative search suggestions under the name of a candidate, search engines like Google can shift the opinions of undecided voters by up to 43.4 percent, according to new research by a team at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and reported exclusively by Breitbart News.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Robert Epstein, has previously conducted research into what he calls the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME). This research showed that the manipulation of results pages in search engines can shift the voting preferences of undecideds by anywhere between 20 and 80 percent, depending on the demographic. …

The researchers conclude that by using this method of manipulation, search engines can shift a “50/50 split split among people who are undecided on an issue to a 90/10 split without people’s awareness and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to follow.” …

“A single negative search suggestion can impact opinions dramatically. Participants who were shown four negative suggestions (and no positives) shifted away from the candidate shown in the search bar (-43.4%).” …

Further on in the paper, the researchers reference allegations of search suggestion manipulation made against Google during the 2016 election, when the tech giant appeared to be suppressing negative search suggestions for Hillary Clinton while allowing negative suggestions for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders to remain.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific