Could a search engine win an election for one side?

Sure says this piece from the Washington Post…..

And I believe them….

All they would need is gnomes working in the backgrounds….

Some people believe EVERYTHING they read and don’t question….

Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil.” But what would it mean for democracy if it was?

That’s the question psychologist Robert Epstein has been asking in a series of experimentstesting the impact of a fictitious search engine — he called it “Kadoodle” — that manipulated search rankings, giving an edge to a favored political candidate by pushing up flattering links and pushing down unflattering ones.

Not only could Kadoodle sway the outcome of close elections, he says, it could do so in a way most voters would never notice.

Epstein, who had a public spat with Google last year, offers no evidence of actual evil acts by the company. Yet his exploration of Kadoodle — think of it as the equivalent of Evil Spock, complete with goatee — not only illuminates how search engines shape individual choices but asks whether the government should have a role in keeping this power in check.

“They have a tool far more powerful than an endorsement or a donation to affect the outcome,” Epstein said. “You have a tool for shaping government. . . . It’s a huge effect that’s basically undetectable.”

There is no reason to believe that Google would manipulate politically sensitive search results. The company depends on its reputation for presenting fair, useful links, and though that image has taken some hits in recent years with high-profile investigations in the United States andEurope, it would be far worse to get caught trying to distort search results for political ends….

More….

Note….

I STILL see the Gallup polling numbers skewing Romney ‘s polling to look better than it was….Put that together with a search engine that would push bad polling numbers along with the COVERAGE of that wrongly based story to the top of it’s searchs….

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4 thoughts on “Could a search engine win an election for one side?”

  1. First thought: Oh wow that’s political/manipulative power vested in a private company.
    Second thought: Oh but compared to FOX NEWS? Meh…

  2. you know mac….the media has ALWAYS had the ability to exert some sort of direct in people’s thinking…..

    look at Obama is 2008….

    THAT was a big story….more than that a quest for the left leaning media….

    And THAT just as much as the right leaners….

    I think the piece makes the presumption that Google ….being the premiere search engine would be neutral….

    But in fact they DO NOT have to be….

    They are after all a private company, as such will do what they can to perpetuate themselves and their market position …..

    With THAT in mind why wouldn’t they, or any other search engine tilt the playing field in THEIR favor?

    Isn’t THAT called good business?

  3. Yeah, and one might say that the presumption of a neutral google is probably very common, and thereby a bit problematic vs. media outlets with wellknown leanings.

    Google do heavily filter political results based upon your clicks though… sometimes like a 100% opposite types of results… which amplifies the echo chambers…

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