While social media companies have received plenty of attention over allegations of widespread liberal bias, a recent report shows they are not the only tech firms with enough influence to potentially alter an election.
During a Fox News Channel interview on Monday, psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein theorized that a simple algorithm at Google might have had an impact on six million voters.
“We had 733 field agents”
Specifically, Epstein told host Tucker Carlson that the search engine skewed its results to favor left-leaning candidates and causes.
Furthermore, he contended that in critical swing states, only users identified as liberal were reminded to vote in this month’s election.
“First of all, we had 733 field agents in three key swing states this year: Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida,” he said. “And we preserved more than 500,000 ephemeral experiences. … That’s about 30 times more data than we got in 2016.”
According to Epstein, Google’s search results “were strongly biased in favor of liberals and Democrats,” though he noted that the same evidence was not found in results from rival search engines Bing and Yahoo.
“The bias was being shown to pretty much every demographic group we looked at, including conservatives. … Conservatives got slightly more bias in their search results than liberals did,” he said. “How do you account for that?”
“They literally shut off that manipulation”
Describing what he believed to be “a smoking gun” in proving his theory, Epstein said his research “found a period of days when the Election Day reminder on Google’s homepage was being sent only to liberals — not one of our conservative field agents received a vote reminder during those days.”
After he revealed his findings to the public, he claimed, Google “backed off” its policy of providing selective reminders to vote.
“They literally shut off that manipulation that night, and so for four days before the election they were showing vote reminders to everyone, finally,” Epstein said.
He is not the only public figure sounding the alarms over alleged bias on display by tech firms including Google. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), for example, is planning to release his book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, to expose the underlying ideology of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.
In a statement, he explained: “At a time when these platforms are determining elections, banning inconvenient political views, lining politicians’ pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars, and addicting our kids to screens, I want to draw attention to the robber barons of the modern era. This is the fight to recover America’s populist democracy. That is why I am writing this book.”