How Google Stopped the Red Wave

How Google Stopped the Red Wave. By Robert Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, and a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

Based on my team’s research, Google, and to a lesser extent, Facebook and other tech monopolies, not only took steps to shift millions of votes to Democrats in the midterms, but they are using their influence to spread rumors and conspiracy theories to make sure people look everywhere for explanations — except at them. …

Over a period of months, Google nudged undecided voters toward voting blue by showing people politically biased content in their search engine, suppressing content they didn’t want people to see, recommending left-leaning videos on YouTube (pdf) (which Google owns), allegedly sending tens of millions of emails to people’s spam boxes, and sending go-vote reminders on their home page mainly to liberal and moderate voters.

These manipulations (and others) don’t affect voters with strong points of view, but they can have an enormous impact on voters who are undecided (pdf) — the people who decide the outcomes of close elections. …


We were monitoring the politically related content that Google and other tech companies were showing to actual voters — our politically diverse panel of 2,742 “field agents,” who were located mainly in swing states.

In particular, we were tracking what Google employees call “ephemeral experiences” — content that appears briefly, affects people, and then disappears.

In 2018, in emails that leaked from the company, Googlers were discussing how they might use ephemeral experiences to change people’s views about Trump’s travel ban. They know how powerful ephemeral experiences can be. That’s one of the most closely held secrets of Google’s management.

Ephemeral content is ideal for manipulation purposes. If you get a go-vote reminder on Google’s home page (see the image below for an actual go-vote reminder sent to a liberal voter on Election Day), how would you know whether anyone else was getting it? You wouldn’t, and if you didn’t receive such a reminder, how would you know that anyone else had?

Don’t be distracted by the small stuff:

Finally, a word of advice: In the coming weeks and months, you’ll probably be bombarded with scary stories about how the midterm elections were tainted by rigged voting machines, fake ballots and other dirty tricks, just as you were after the 2020 presidential election. Please try your best to ignore those stories. …

Even if some of the stories prove to be true (and most won’t), dirty tricks of the sort people talk about online make little difference in election outcomes. Sometimes they shift only hundreds of votes; it’s rare for them to shift thousands.

What’s more, if these stories are spreading like wildfire on social media platforms, that’s only because the tech companies want them to spread. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram (both part of Meta), Twitter, and YouTube (owned by Google) have complete and absolute control over whether stories go viral.

Remember when Twitter and Facebook suppressed stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020? Again, these companies can spread stories or suppress them as they please.

When you see a conspiracy theory spreading, you are often seeing an example of large-scale manipulation by misdirection. The tech companies allow such stories to spread — or even force them to spread — to turn your attention away from the companies themselves. If you think that there were fake ballots, you won’t pay attention to the fact that tech companies might have shifted millions of votes in the midterms.

Sure, ballot stuffing sounds a lot more diabolical than “sending people targeted go-vote reminders,” but don’t let yourself be fooled. Ballot stuffing is a competitive activity that has little net effect. But targeted register-to-vote and go-vote reminders on Google’s home page, which is viewed more than 500 million times a day in the United States, can shift votes by the million.

Wise up, non-leftists.