Google uses ephemeral methods that leave no paper trail, making it difficult to prove the tech giant is manipulating us in ways that we can’t counteract, said Robert Epstein, Ph.D., senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.
Story at a glance:
- Robert Epstein, Ph.D. warns about Google’s ability to control public policy, swing elections and brainwash our children.
- The methods Google uses are ephemeral and leave no paper trail behind, making it very difficult to track and prove that they’re using humans as pawns, manipulating us in ways that we can’t counteract.
- Research by Epstein and colleagues has found that biased search results can change people’s opinions and voting preferences, shifting opinions in undecided voters by 20% to 80% in certain demographic groups.
- Google’s “autocomplete” feature on its search engine can turn a 50/50 split among undecided voters into nearly a 90/10 split — all without people realizing they’re being manipulated.
- The first step to breaking free from Google’s dictatorship is recognizing that the manipulation is occurring; the next involves consciously opting out of it as much as possible by protecting your privacy online.
Google has the power to manipulate what you see online, targeting you with certain advertisements and burying search results they’d rather you not see. But can they go so far as to control the outcome of political elections?
Absolutely, according to Robert Epstein, Ph.D., a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.