Just what are some of the methods that tech giants like Google and Facebook can use to shift their users’ attitudes, beliefs, and even votes?
How do search engine rankings impact undecided voters?
How powerful of an impact can search engine algorithms have on our perceptions and actions, without us even knowing?
Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the initiative’s leader, announced Monday.
The news confirms reports last week about the bipartisan investigation into Google’s practices. The probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not involved in the probe, Paxton said at a press conference.
The Pentagon has unveiled an initiative to fight “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks” by unearthing deep-fakes and other polarizing content with the eventual goal of rooting out so-called “malicious intent” entirely. You had better get your thinking in line with the Pentagon and DARPA, or things could get ugly quickly.
Google has likely been determining the outcomes of upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide since at least 2015. This is because many races are very close and because Google’s persuasive technologies are very powerful.
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). This number is based on data captured by my 2018 monitoring system, which preserved more than 47,000 election-related searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, along with the nearly 400,000 web pages to which the search results linked. Strong political bias toward one party was evident, once again, in Google searches.
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.
Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.
When Google’s employees or algorithms decide to block our access to information about a news item, political candidate or business, opinions and votes can shift, reputations can be ruined and businesses can crash and burn. Because online censorship is entirely unregulated at the moment, victims have little or no recourse when they have been harmed. Eventually, authorities will almost certainly have to step in, just as they did when credit bureaus were regulated in 1970. The alternative would be to allow a large corporation to wield an especially destructive kind of power that should be exercised with great restraint and should belong only to the public: the power to shame or exclude.
Psychologist and search engine expert Dr. Robert Epstein, a liberal Hillary Clinton supporter, blasted the failed presidential candidate on social media yesterday after she falsely claimed his research showing pro-Clinton bias from Google in 2016 had been “debunked.”
Twitter Inc. removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government this week meant to undermine the legitimacy of Hong Kong protests. It also said it would no longer allow state media to purchase ads on its platform.
What Twitter didn’t mention in its series of blog posts this week was the increasing number of Chinese officials, diplomats, media, and government agencies using the social media service to push Beijing’s political agenda abroad.
Axios reports that social media giant Facebook has new plans aimed at helping handpicked news outlets on its platform and will be hiring a number of seasoned journalists to curate a planned “News Tab” feature. The news tab is reportedly an effort by Facebook to restore some credibility to the site’s news feed which it believes has become inundated with fake news and clickbait.
Facebook has removed President Trump’s pro-women re-election advertisements, according to reports from tech site Gizmodo, as well as the left-wing Popular Information blog that reported a “violation” of Facebook’s terms and conditions.