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Digital Thumb on the Scale

GOOGLE sign at night
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Two years ago, I wrote of Dr. Robert Epstein and his research that showed how Google affected the outcome of the 2016 and 2020 elections in favor of Democrats. He has served in various editorial positions at Psychology Today and Scientific American MIND.

Although he is a Democratic voter, he is honest enough with his research to show that the tech giant “has its digital thumb on the scale.” He warned that the power big tech has “never existed before in human history. This is power that the worst dictators in history could have only dreamt of.”

As a Hillary Clinton supporter, he discovered how search engine manipulation affected the 2016 presidential election. His team recorded 13,000 searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. At the time, he estimated that the impact of the search algorithm may have shifted 2.6 million to as many as 10.4 million votes to the Democratic candidate.

Two years ago, I wrote about his analysis of 500,000 election-related searches. In that presidential election, he estimated that at least 6 million votes were shifted to Joe Biden. When he went public with his findings, Google apparently shut off its manipulation overnight.

As you might imagine, there has been a personal cost to his work. He believes in free and fair elections, but he has lost friends and some family members. He has also been warned that his safety is at risk. After one briefing he provided for state attorneys general, one of them took him aside and shared his fear that he might “die in an accident in the next few months.” Shortly thereafter, his wife was killed in a car accident.

Last week’s election provided another opportunity for him to release his latest findings. I commend him for his research and for his desire for honest elections.viewpoints new web version

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