Google has an enormous amount of power through its ability to manipulate search rankings. The company can make or break a brand or website by making minor tweaks to its algorithms. There’s an entire science devoted to interpreting every move Google makes because even subtle changes can make a huge difference. Google has always maintained that the goal of its endless tinkering is delivering the best search results possible. That seems to be true and the search giant famously has a “you can make money without doing evil,” policy, but just because it currently has good intentions does not mean it always will. The company’s success and its ability to control where people go on the Internet put it into a place where it could impact the next president of the United States. There’s no reason to believe Google intends to rig the coming election, but it has that power according to a Politico essay written by Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today.
Epstein wrote that Google not only has the power to swing the results in the election, but that it can do so in a way only he and “a few other obscure researchers would know.” He explained his findings in the piece.
Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google,, has amassed far more power to control elections — indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs — than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more — up to 80% in some demographic groups — with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.
Google can’t move every voter, but Epstein explained that you only need to cause a small shift to swing the results. He pointed put that “in the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6%, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9% — well within Google’s control.”
Full Article: Google influence on 2016 election – Business Insider.