Search engines show biased results

Google perpetuates a left-leaning value system by manipulating search results


Courtesy of The verge

Google’s algorithms perpetuate its political beliefs.

Conor Metzger, Staff Columnist

If you’re reading this on your device, can I ask how you accessed this article? Did you type “Old, Gold & Black” into Google, or did you follow a link that opened on your Chrome browser? Did you use a browser like Firefox or Safari or one of several search engines like Yahoo or DuckDuckGo? If you answered yes to any of these questions,  I have some bad news for you.

This past week, I listened to a long-form podcast with Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist who is conducting research into the policies of Google and its role in influencing the global population.

If you were to google Epstein, the first result would likely be an article calling him a right-wing conspiracist. This is an example of the tools of persuasion that Google uses, as any follower of Epstein would know that he is not interested in politics. Instead, he works in the interest of preserving democracy and freedom of choice for everyone.

Big tech wants to divide us and stop us from uniting against a common enemy. I urge you to forgo the tribal mentality that has infiltrated our society and take action to regain the autonomy that is being stripped away from us every day.”

In this way, Google is purposely trying to sway opinion against Epstein and against anything that does not align with their agenda. Consider how Google has those convenient search suggestions, like when you type in “A” and get suggestions like “Amazon” or “Amazon Prime”. These are highly visited websites, so it makes sense for them to appear in your personalized suggestions, but it is also no secret that Amazon and Google have agreements in place to benefit each other.

This becomes dangerous when you consider an undecided voter in the 2016 election. They went to Google — like most of the population does — to research the candidates. This is where Epstein’s theory of “Search Engine Manipulation Effect” (SEME) comes into play. He and his team found that, during the election season, if a person typed “Hillary Clinton” the suggestions would be only positive, and would lead you to her charitable donations or successful policies she implemented. If you typed in “Donald Trump”, you would get suggestions about one of his scandals or bankruptcies. You could argue that there is simply more information about the negative aspects of Trump, but people at the time were also interested in Clinton’s ties to foreign enemies, her role in Benghazi and her questionable donations. Epstein argues that factors such as these affected around 78.2 million votes. He also claimed in a 2019 Congressional testimony that the “autocomplete” option can turn a 50/50 split for a candidate to a 90/10 split.

The scary part is that it is getting harder and harder to use alternative methods. Engines like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo do not harvest websites themselves and instead rely on Google and its lists of websites, including blacklists that target specific pages. Pages on blacklists may not show up when searching for information that they contain or they may be relegated to the bottom of lists where most users will likely not see them. The criteria for where to place websites is also very subjective, with guidelines being put in place for obvious categories like pornography and excessive violence along with less specific categories that could be “anything else.”

This malicious manipulation is done for a few reasons. One such reason is to perpetuate Google’s left-leaning value system. Although private companies have a right to their beliefs, it becomes dangerous when they have the power to manipulate public opinion. Google does not just censor conservative opinions, but also socialist and progressive opinions that may be threatening to larger companies.

Access to the internet is becoming a utility that is necessary for survival. However, this utility is controlled by private companies that sell our data and control the expression of opinion. There are several ways to combat this, such as the Brave browser, an alternative to Chrome that accesses the internet without manipulation techniques and with no tracking software. You can also recognize that the suggested searches Google gives may be a way of manipulating you in a way that meets their agenda, but not yours, and be mindful when you are clicking on a suggested search, rather than falling to subtle manipulation.

This is not a political position. Big tech wants to divide us and stop us from uniting against a common enemy. I urge you to forgo the tribal mentality that has infiltrated our society and take action to regain the autonomy that is being stripped away from us every day.