On Politico, Robert Epstein argues Google has "amassed far more power" to control "a wide variety of opinions and beliefs" by using a subtle form of social influence through its search engine. Reportedly, this form of subtle manipulation could be used to change the outcome of elections and be considered "a serious threat to the democratic system of government."
Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide. In the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9 percent—well within Google’s control.
There are at least three very real scenarios whereby Google—perhaps even without its leaders’ knowledge—could shape or even decide the election next year. Whether or not Google executives see it this way, the employees who constantly adjust the search giant’s algorithms are manipulating people every minute of every day. The adjustments they make increasingly influence our thinking—including, it turns out, our voting preferences.
|Google Facts and Figures|
|Google Street View Hyperlapse|
|Visiting Legoland California in Google Maps|
|Google's Own Social Network (RT @SaraCera)|
|Google's War on the Homeless|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|
|“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”|