A liberal professor and “very strong public supporter of Hillary Clinton” is raising the alarms about Google manipulation of millions of unwitting voters in recent elections, as well as the potential impact for 2020.
Dr. Robert Epstein, former editor of Psychology Today and acclaimed psychologist who founded the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, discussed his research before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and his testimony was mind-boggling.
“You testified before this committee that Google’s manipulation of votes gave at least 2.6 million additional votes to Hillary Clinton in the year 2016. Is that correct?” Sen. Ted Cruz questioned in a video of the hearing published by Breitbart.
“That’s correct,” Epstein said.
“I want to make sure I understand. You personally supported and voted for Hillary Clinton?” Cruz pressed.
“I was a very strong public supporter of Hillary Clinton, yes,” Epstein said.
“So you’re not dismayed that people voted for her, your testimony is that Google is through bias in search results manipulating voters in a way that they’re not aware of,” Cruz questioned.
“On a massive scale,” Epstein said, “and what I’m saying is that I believe in Democracy, I believe in the free and fair election, more than I have any kind of allegiance to a candidate or a party.”
Epstein testified that the influence of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Big Tech’s manipulation could sway as many as 15 million votes in 2020, if the companies are all pulling for the same candidate.
“In 2020, if all these companies are supporting the same candidate there’s 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace,” he said.
Epstein gave some examples of how Google, Facebook and other companies herded certain voters to the polls through voting reminders and total control over search results, quick-answer results, and other features essentially amounts to mind control.
“In 2016, if Mark Zuckerberg for example had chosen to send out a go vote reminder, say just to Democrats, and no one would have known if he had done this, that would have given that day at least an additional 450,000 votes to Democrats and we know this without doubt because of Facebook’s own published data cause they did an experiment that they didn’t tell anyone about during the 2010 election,” he said.
“They published it 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,” Epstein said. “Without monitoring systems in place we’ll never know …”
“Twenty-eighteen, I’m sure they were more aggressive. We’ve got lots of data to suggest that, and in 2020, you can bet that all of these companies are going to go all out. And the methods that they’re using are invisible, they’re subliminal, they’re more powerful than most any effects I’ve ever seen in the behavioral sciences and I’ve been in the behavioral sciences for almost 40 years,” he said.
Cruz repeatedly attempted to summarize the situation and put the voter manipulation into plain terms, and Epstein repeatedly corrected Cruz to explain that the issue is likely far worse than the senator from Texas was describing.
“What you are testifying to is that a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires and giant corporations are able to spend millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars collectively, massively influencing the results of elections, and there’s no accountability,” Cruz said. “You said we don’t know, we have no way of knowing if Google or Facebook or Twitter sends to Democrats or Republicans or how they bias it because it’s a black box with no transparency or accountability whatsoever.
“Am I understanding you correctly?” Cruz questioned.
“Senator, with respect, I must correct you,” Epstein replied. “If Mark Zuckerberg chooses to send out a go vote reminder just to Democrats on Election Day, that doesn’t cost him a dime.”
“Fair enough,” Cruz said. “Do you happen to know who the Hillary Clinton campaign’s number one financial supporter was in the year 2016?”
“I think I do, but please remind me,” Epstein said.
“The number one financial supporter of the Hillary Clinton campaign in the 2016 election was the parent company of Google, Alphabet, … and your testimony is through their deceptive search methods they moved 2.6 million votes in her direction,” Cruz said.
“I would think anybody, whether or not you favor one candidate or another, should be deeply dismayed about a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires having that much power over our elections to silently and deceptively shift vote outcomes,” he said.
“Again, with respect, I must correct you,” Epstein said. “The 2.6 million is a rock bottom minimum. The range is between 2.6 and 10.4 million, depending on how aggressively they’ve used the techniques that I’ve been studying now for six and a half years … such as the search engine manipulation effect, the search suggestion effect, the answer bot effect 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,” he said.