It’s no secret that Big Tech – gigantic social media companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter – isn’t exactly friendly towards President Trump. And while the media has everyone looking for signs of “Russian interference” everywhere, the truth is that Big Tech right here at home poses a bigger threat to democracy than the Kremlin ever could.
Dr. Robert Epstein is a research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology. He got his doctorate at Harvard and has been Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today, as well as having been the founder of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Concord. He’s also an expert on artificial intelligence. And he’s warning the American public that Big Tech could influence the upcoming election – to the tune of 15 million votes – without anybody even knowing that it’s happening.
Epstein is not a MAGA activist. He was actually a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2016. But this is what makes his warnings all the more frightening. “I value my country and democracy more than I value any party or candidate,” he told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution last year, when he testified regarding his findings. He genuinely believes that Big Tech poses a danger to democracy in America.
For years, Dr. Epstein has taken a particular interest in Google and has conducted research into how it has impacted the political process. According to a report at Valley News, he made three crucial discoveries.
The first is that undecided voters who used Google to research candidates during the run-up to the 2016 election were subjected to Google’s search algorithms, which probably gave 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. Dr. Epstein’s research showed that Google search results were heavily biased in favor of Clinton. (The fact that Clinton lost in spite of this shows how unpopular she really was – although perhaps President Trump would have won the popular vote were not for Google’s meddling.)
Second, on the day of the midterm elections in 2018, Google placed a “Go Vote” reminder on its home page. This reminder shifted what Dr. Epstein estimates to be 800,000 votes to another party by getting people who would not have otherwise voted to go out and do so. This isn’t mere speculation; Google actually published the results of its impact on the 2010 midterm elections for all to see.
And third, in the week prior to the 2018 elections, Google’s search algorithms may have flipped at least 78.2 million votes across the country. Dr. Epstein concluded this based on approximately 47,000 election-related search results carried out by “a diverse group of American voters” during this period that he recorded and preserved.
But Dr. Epstein believes that in this year’s election, Big Tech is not going to pull any punches when it comes to trying to prevent President Trump from getting another term. “In 2020 you can bet that all of these companies are going to go all-out,” he said. “And the messages that they are using are invincible; they are subliminal. They are more powerful than most any effects I have ever seen in the behavioral sciences, and I have been in the behavior sciences for almost 40 years.”
Big Tech has been able to operate with hardly any oversight for quite some time now. Isn’t it time that the authorities stepped in and started to figure out exactly what they’re up to? After all, who should determine the next President – the American people, or Mark Zuckerberg?