Senate Testimony Confirms Google Bias

Senate Testimony Confirms Google Bias

On Tuesday Dr. Robert Epstein gave testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to why Google is a serious threat to our democracy. Dr. Epstein is a Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. He received his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1981 and has published 15 books and over 300 articles about artificial intelligence and other topics related to his field. In his testimony, Epstein made sure to note that he lives in California and is a supporter of the Democrat party.

Since 2012, most of Epstein’s research has focused on Google’s abilities to suppress content creation, mass surveil populations, as well as the ability to manipulate the thoughts and behavior of over 2.5 billion people across the world. Even though his research findings have shown bias in favor of the Democratic party he supports, Epstein doesn’t see this as a positive for the people of the United States and beyond.

    “Data I’ve collected since 2016 show that Google displays content to the American public that is biased in favor on one political party, a party I happen to like, but that’s irrelevant. No private company should have either the right or the power to manipulate large populations without their knowledge.”

Epstein went on to say in his testimony,

    “I put my own political leaning aside when I report my data and concerns because the problems theses companies present eclipse personal politics. To put this another way, I love humanity, my country, and democracy more than I love any particular party or candidate. And democracy as originally conceived cannot survive Big Tech as currently empowered.”

Dr. Epstein listed his findings that prove Google’s bias and intent. His research found that biased search results were generated by Google’s search algorithm, which swayed up to 2.6 million undecided voters to choose Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election. His evidence for this was that he archived search results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo and found that Google specifically had favored Clinton in the top 10 positions on the first page of their search results in both Republican and Democratic states.

Epstein calls this type of voter manipulation the Search Engine Manipulation Effect(SEME). He also notes that internal emails recently leaked from Google employees, shows that Google deliberately adjusts search results to change a person’s mindset on a subject.

“SEME is one of the most powerful forms of influence ever discovered in the behavioral sciences, ad it is especially dangerous because it is invisible to people, “subliminal ,” in effect. It leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much and illusion. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn’t protect you from it…”

According to Epstein’s research, Google’s “Go Vote” reminder on its’ home page on Election Day in 2018, helped the Democratic party gain anywhere from 800,000 to 4.6 million more votes than the Republicans.

During the final weeks leading up to the election, Google’s search results could have shifted up to 78.2 million votes to one side of the aisle over the other. Epstein archived over 47,000 searches and almost 400,000 web pages relating to the election from the search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo. He found that once again there was strong bias from Google in favor of the Democratic Party.

Another finding of Epstein’s was that Google’s autocomplete feature on their search bar, could take a 50/50 split amongst voters and turn that into a 90/10 split without the user’s awareness. Google can manipulate what you are searching for before you finish typing your question.

The Harvard Professor goes on to explain a study he did about Google’s mass surveillance operations. He refers to a paper he wrote in 2016, describing that Google has nine different blacklists used to suppress information across the world. He doesn’t just suggest that they block content on YouTube, but that Google can block access to millions of web pages across the internet.

“…it is not just conservative content that gets censored. At times, Google also censors progressive and socialist content. The problem with Google is not that it censors conservatives; the problem is that it has the power to determine what content billions of people worldwide will or not see. No single entity — especially a private company that is not accountable to the public — should have such power.”

Epstein however, provided potential solutions to this problem. One of his solutions is to get enough funding to create a Neilsen-type system to monitor Big Tech companies, much like the ones he used during his research in 2016 and 2018. This system will be able to instantly show when Google is providing the people with politically biased results, be able to spot when Twitter suppresses tweets, and also show when Facebook sends voting reminders to one political party over another.

“A worldwide network of passive monitoring systems must be built to protect humanity and democracy from manipulations by today’s Google and the Googles of tomorrow. Only tech can fight tech; laws and regulations will never keep up.”


Furthermore, Epstein also lays out how to provide competition in the market to help pull away the monopoly Google has on search engines. To get search companies competitive, Epstein suggests that Congress declare Google’s search index to be “public commons”. Essentially Google would have to share its’ patents with the public and from there new companies can now modify that code and compete with the biggest tech company on the planet. It creates an atmosphere in which companies will have a fair and fighting chance to provide users with the best search results possible.

These two potential solutions are a solid start to fixing what is wrong with Big Tech companies. We as users have to be aware of the potential bias that Google and others have towards content they do not think is proper for us to view. We the people also have to keep the pressure up on our elected officials to get the job done.

It’s always said that every voice matters. Hopefully Congress can agree to that at the minimum and make sure that these tech companies aren’t silencing the view points of people they disagree with.

You can view Dr. Epstein’s opening statement, along with links to his published papers regarding these studies and more in the link provided below.

Source:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Epstein%20Testimony.pdf
   

Author: 777 Media Source
   


   
   

   

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