Google Bias Against Conservative News Is 'Much More Dangerous' Than China's Actions, Expert Says
On Thursday, the Daily Caller's Peter Hasson reported leaked emails showing Google executives scheming to isolate conservative news sites in the wake of the 2016 election. Dr. Robert Epstein, a Ph.D. psychologist who focuses on search engine manipulation, warned that Google's attempts to manipulate public opinion are more terrifying than the Chinese government's attempts to control its citizens.
China's government seems intent to implement George Orwell's "1984" with facial recognition, data mining, a social credit system, and roving electronic "doves" to watch over citizens. Yet Epstein finds Google more terrifying, partially due to the recent leak.
"To me. [China's manipulation] is scary, but people are aware of it. It's done openly by the government. I think what is happening elsewhere in the world that's being driven mostly by Google I think is much more dangerous, because it's mostly invisible," Epstein, whose research features prominently in the recent film "The Creepy Line," told PJ Media Friday.
"There's no transparency, there's no accountability," he added. "It's a more ambitious kind of surveillance than that of the Chinese government."
On Thursday, Hasson revealed a very damning post from Google engineer Scott Byer dated November 9, 2016. "This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it," Byer wrote. "How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That's something that can and should be fixed."
Byer went on to add, "Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”
Other Google employees disagreed and presented other alternatives to influence people.
Epstein, a Hillary Clinton supporter whose research suggested that Google's pro-Clinton bias explained most of her vote lead in the popular vote, said the news confirmed his suspicions.
"This is another leak confirming things that some of us have suspected for some time," he told PJ Media. "Of course it is disturbing that I and other people turned out to be right about Google, that they not only have enormous power to shift opinions and votes, but they're aware that they have the power, they talk about using the power, and my own data suggests that they do in fact use the power."
Epstein argued that bias impacts algorithms, even without a conscious attempt to influence people. "There is solid research showing that programmers have a bias of some sort, that bias ends up getting expressed in their code unconsciously. Even without deliberateness, we still will end up with algorithms that have biases embedded in them," he said.
Yet in these cases, "We know that the bias is explicit. We know that. It's impossible for me to believe that Google executives and employees are not deliberate in their manipulations."