Creepy “Big Tech” Needs to be Reined in Now
It’s amazing that two years after the realization that “Big Tech” is censoring search results and manipulating the minds of American voters, Congress has done nothing but hold a few hearings. It’s understandable that Democrats don’t want to consider regulating Google, Facebook and these other evil companies; they actually help the Democrats.
But why aren’t Republicans being more vocal about these companies that literally want to drive them out of office forever?
The American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology reported back in April, in a story that no mainstream media outlet noticed, that Google on its own can manipulate the opinions of up to 43% of undecided voters in an election cycle.
Hello, Republicans! Is anyone listening?
The AIBRT discovered this by tracking how positive and negative search result answers, filled in by Google’s auto-complete function, affect undecided study participants.
When searches for a candidate’s name turn up negative auto-complete answers, undecided voters quickly “decide” they don’t want to vote for that candidate.
One of the most maddening aspects of Google’s obvious bias and manipulation is the way it restricts our access to information on the internet (if you bother to still use it).
Google executives like to tell everyone that is because of innocent errors in their search algorithms. That used to be true, back before Google realized that it could impact public opinion.
For example, Steve Sailer did some hilarious research on a phenomenon that he called “Google Gaydar” back in the early days of Barack Obama’s first term. Google’s auto-complete really was based on algorithms as recently as 2013, on certain issues.
If you started typing something into Google, its auto-complete would give you a list of search terms based on the most common search terms that people in your region or country were looking for.
When people search for information on celebrities, one of the most common things they want to know is whether so-and-so is gay.
This is where Sailer’s hilarious “Google Gaydar” concept came from. If you typed in, say, Freddy Mercury, the first auto-complete option in Google would be “Freddy Mercury gay.” In other cases, you might have to type the letter ‘g’ before Google would auto-complete with “gay.”
For celebrities who are obviously straight, Google would rarely give “so-and-so gay” as an auto-complete option. Hence, celebrities like Sir John Gielgud or Kevin Spacey would have a “Google Gaydar score” of 100, while Walter Matthau would score a zero on Google Gaydar.
This concept provided great research for social scientists and others, because they could determine interesting things that people are searching for on the internet, based on Google’s auto-complete function.
But when Google found out about Google Gaydar, they went in and manually changed everything. Today, not even “Freddy Mercury g” will net you a “gay” result.
Why is this important?
Let’s go to Google right now and try a quick experiment. The Hillary Clinton email scandal was one of the biggest news stories in the entire world in 2016.
Surely, if Google is only basing its search results off of algorithms and search term popularity, we will be able to find out about this scandal, right?
Typing in “Hillary Clinton e” in Google delivers the following auto-complete results:
Education, endorsements, electoral votes 2016, election slogan, events, emoji, elections.
Wow! Okay, let’s give Google another chance by filling in an additional letter. Surely it will know that we want to learn about Hillary Clinton’s emails when we type in “Hillary Clinton em”.
Nope. One result: “Hillary Clinton emojis.”
Thanks to Google’s help, a researcher can’t even accidentally stumble upon the defining (alleged) criminal act of Hillary Clinton’s career and the second-biggest story of 2016 after the election of President Donald Trump.
This is not an “accident” based on an algorithm. It’s deliberate manipulation by a company that would prefer to have Hillary Clinton in the White House right now.
We had a genuine example of an unfiltered, algorithm-based answer a couple of weeks ago, from Amazon’s home AI device known as Alexa.
When asked, “Who is Jim Acosta?” Alexa responded, “Jim Acosta if a fake news journalist who serves as the chief White House correspondent for CNN.”
That’s funny and at the same time, it’s obviously something that most Americans were saying online at the time. (Amazon quickly changed it manually, to our chagrin.)
When we are unfiltered, Americans can be quirky and strange, but at least we’re open, honest and somewhat free. If we continue to allow Google to control what we can know about, however, America’s future suddenly looks very bleak.