Google IT: Manipulating Voters in Every Election
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
In a world ruled by “the father of lies” (John 8:44), a believer’s discernment is paramount:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8 NASB).
Americans are guaranteed many rights, and historically we taught that each has a corresponding duty.
Thus, the right of free speech was accompanied by the duty of telling the truth—a duty often neglected by media and political pundits today. In fact, fake news is now so common that it has become a significant public concern.
As a new study affirmed:“...more than 95% are troubled by the current state of media, with 53% citing ‘reports on fake news,’ 49% citing ‘reporting gossip,’ and 48% citing ‘lying spokespeople,’ as the key causes.”
During a recent congressional hearing, research psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein (a former high-ranking Google employee) testified that the inaccuracies spewed forth by tech giants (such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others) are potent enough to influence elections.
“In 2016, biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton (whom I supported).”
He continued: “In the weeks leading up to the 2018 election, bias in Google’s search results may have shifted upwards of 78.2 million votes to the candidates of one political party (spread across hundreds of local and regional races).”
Disinformation is real, and it has tangible consequences.
Yet fake news and those who use it as a tool for change is not a new phenomenon. As Jesus warned His disciples: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves...Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 7:15, 10:16 NASB).
We are warned that some people and forces will attempt to mislead many through lies and deceit.
This is why the Apostle John cautioned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1 NASB).
With the 2020 election approaching, voters must take extra caution to not accept claims on their face but instead search for themselves whether the promises, accusations, and charges made by those running for office are actually true. If we do not exercise this diligence, Dr. Epstein warns:“[Our research leaves] little doubt about whether Google has the ability to control voters. In laboratory and online experiments conducted in the United States, we were able to boost the proportion of people who favored any candidates by between 37 and 63 percent after just one search session.”
We cannot afford to be a misinformed voting public. We must always seek for truth, also remembering the promise that:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 NASB).
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1 Ellefson, L. (2019, September 11). ‘Fake news’ fears: 95% of Americans ‘troubled’ by current state of media, poll finds: Study finds that 67% of people think journalistic ethics will be worse during the 2020 election. Retrieved from https://www.thewrap.com/fake-news-fears-95-of-americans-troubled-by-current-state-of-media-poll-finds/
2 Epstein, R. (2019, June 16). Why Google poses a serious threat to democracy, and how to end that threat. Retrieved from https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Epstein%20Testimony.pdf
4 Epstein, R. (2019, September 9). Dr. Robert Epstein on Google's ability to affect the outcome of elections. Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/dr-robert-epstein-on-googles-ability-to-affect-the-outcome-of-elections