LibertyUnderFire warned in June 2018, "If Big Tech [companies] can control the information flow, then they can also influence the outcome of the midterms and even future presidential elections should they succumb to a collective political view."
Big Tech is defined as Internet giants, Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube. New evidence shows them poised to influence the 2020 presidential election, potentially shifting 15 million votes to their favored candidate without leaving a paper trail.
So says Robert Epstein, Ph.D., a research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology, probably America's leading authority on Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs, having published widely in the area since 1981. What makes him especially credible is that he is left on the political spectrum, a Democrat, and a "published supporter" of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Why did he testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, July 16, 2019, revealing this threat to our national security, likely to hurt his own political party?
He explained, "I value my country and democracy more than I value any party or candidate."
He offered three disturbing findings from his extensive research. First, "in 2016 Google's search algorithms likely impacted undecided voters in a way that shifted at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton, whom I supported. I know this because I preserved more than 13,000 election-related searches prior to election day and Google's search results were significantly biased in favor of Secretary Clinton. I know the number of votes had shifted because I conducted dozens of controlled experiments that measure how opinions shift when search results are biased."
Epstein continued, "I call this shift SEME, the (Search Engine Manipulation Effect) which I first published in the proceedings of the National Council of Sciences in 2015. Biased search results can easily produce shifts in the opinions and voting preferences of undecided voters by up to 80% in some demographic groups because people blindly trust high-ranking search results over lower ones. SEME is an especially dangerous form of influence because it is, in effect, subliminal. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace.
It's an example of a short-lived or ephemeral experience. That's a phrase you'll find in internal emails that have leaked recently from Google. I now am studying seven such manipulations like SEME and, unlike billboards, or those Russian placed ads, these manipulations are invisible and non-competitive. They're controlled entirely by Big Tech companies and there is no way to counteract them."
Second, "on election day in 2018, the Go Vote reminder that Google displayed on its home page gave one political party at least 800,000 more votes than it gave the other party. That reminder was not a public service, it was a vote manipulation."
Third "in the week leading up to the 2018 election, bias in Google search results may have shifted upwards of 78.2 million votes, spread across many races, to the candidates of one political party. This number is based on bias in data captured by my 2018 monitoring system which preserved more than 47,000 election-related searches conducted by a diverse group of American voters."
Epstein shared how Go Vote, just one of several Big Tech's subliminal messaging techniques, was used in the 2010 and 2018 elections. Google published the results of its 2010 election interference in 2012. "It had 60 million Facebook users involved. They sent out a Go Vote reminder and they got something like 360,000 more people to get off their sofas and go vote who otherwise would have stayed home."
The Go Vote technique was not used in 2016 because these companies were overconfident that Hillary would win without it. But it was used again in the 2018 election.
"We have lots of data to support that...." Epstein estimates that had Mark Zuckerberg used this technique in 2016, it would have given Hillary Clinton an additional 450,000 votes.
Although Go Vote was not used in 2016, other messaging techniques were, resulting in a manipulative range of "2.6 million rock bottom" and possibly up to 10.4 million votes moved in favor of Hillary Clinton. The fact that Hillary Clinton with Big Tech election interference did not overwhelm Trump, documents how fearful voters were of her.
Epstein warns that "in 2020 you can bet that all of these companies are going to go all out. 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 behavioral sciences for almost 40 years." Adding later that they are likely to be aggressive in the other subliminal techniques as well, naming "the search engine manipulation effects, the search suggestion effects, the answer broad effects, [and] a number of others. They control these and no one can counteract them. These are not competitive. These are tools that they have at their disposal exclusively."
Given Big Tech's election interference in three past elections and the refinement of additional subliminal techniques giving them the power to shift 15 million votes to a favored party, it is easy to see who will choose future presidents without our knowing votes were shifted. Outside retaining elections to persuade us that we participated, elections would become meaningless.
Harold W. Pease, Ph.D., is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for more than 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 12/11/2019