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Google Politics

Can Google Influence Elections? 138

KindMind (897865) writes "From the Washington Post: 'Psychologist Robert Epstein has been researching [how much influence search engines have on voting behavior] and says he is alarmed at what he has discovered. His most recent experiment, whose findings were released Monday, found that search engines have the potential to profoundly influence voters without them noticing the impact ... Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and a vocal critic of Google, has not produced evidence that this or any other search engine has intentionally deployed this power. But the new experiment builds on his earlier work by measuring SEME (Search Engine Manipulation Effect) in the concrete setting of India's national election, whose voting concludes Monday.'"
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Can Google Influence Elections?

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  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @06:31AM (#46987889) Journal
    Information will affect what you think, reliable information more so....

    "In 2012, Epstein publicly disputed with Google Search over a security warning placed on links to his website.[10] His website, which features mental health screening tests, was blocked for serving malware that could infect visitors to the site. Epstein ...[ threw a very public tantrum, ]... threatened legal action if the warning concerning his website was not removed, and denied that any problems with his website existed.[10] Several weeks later, Epstein admitted his website had been hacked, but still blamed Google for tarnishing his name and not helping him find the infection.[11]" - WP.

    The paragraph above that I found via google (top hit) certainly affected the way I think about Epstien. In fact it could be said that google made coffee come out of my nose when I read the line above it - "Epstein has studied psychological maturity and published an online maturity test.".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @07:04AM (#46987971)

    Um, don't you know that the CEOs of every major search engine are all far left-wing socialists working for George Soros?

  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot@keirstead. o r g> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @07:21AM (#46988029) Homepage
    "With a group of more than 1,800 study participants â" all undecided voters in India -- the research team was able to shift votes by an average of 12.5 percent to favored candidates by deliberating altering their rankings in search results, Epstein said. " Which is exactly why Google does not manually manipulate their search result rankings for any reason, no matter who complains about it. Someone brings a lawsuit against Google for their search rankings seemingly every day. No one ever wins. The rankings are decided by an algorithm that for the most part gives very appropriate results. Unless someone shows me evidence that Google is manually manipulating rankings then this is a non-story to me.

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