Dr Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research & Technology and former editor-in-chief at Psychology Today, was a strong public supporter and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. When asked to confirm that he is not a Republican or a conservative, Epstein replied, “That would be an understatement.”
Yet, Dr Epstein testified that Google, through bias in search results, manipulates voters in ways they’re not aware of. Epstein confirmed that that manipulation occurs “On a massive scale. And what I’m saying is, I believe in democracy. I believe in a free and fair election more than I have allegiance to a candidate or a party.”
“In 2020, if all these companies (Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook) are supporting the same candidate, there are 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace.”
Dr Epstein stated that he thought Big Tech companies were overconfident in 2016, so they didn’t abuse their ability to influence voters. And, they were surprised and disappointed by the outcome. But he predicts they will not be as passive in 2020 with so much at stake.
“The point is, in 2018, I’m sure they were more aggressive. We have lots of data to support that. But in 2020, you can bet that all of these companies are going to go all out. And the methods they are using are invisible, they’re subliminal, they’re more powerful than any effects I’ve ever seen in the behavioral sciences, and I’ve been in the behavioral sciences for almost 40 years.”
Epstein predicts, “The range of voter influence on votes is between 2.6 million and 10.4 million votes depending on how aggressive they are in using the techniques that I’ve been studying for six years, including search engine manipulation effect, the search suggestion effect, the answer bot effect and a number of others. These companies control these tools and no one can counter act them.
That gives a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires extraordinary power to influence the outcome of an election, which should be of grave concern to all voters who share Dr Epstein’s belief in a free democracy and a free and fair election.