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Kari Lake Could Have Been Arizona's Next Governor, But Here's What Google Did to Stop It

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Dr. Robert Epstein, a renowned American psychologist and journalist, believes Google killed the red wave. And, according to him, they did it long before voters ever submitted their ballots.

The former “Psychology Today” editor-in-chief and his research team have concluded that, during the midterms, Google shifted a massive number of votes nationwide.

In states where Republicans lost tight races — such as Arizona — Epstein’s team found “substantial bias … in content that Google and other tech companies were sending people.” Epstein believes the outcomes in these close races may have been impacted by Google’s manipulations.

If not for the biased algorithms, it is possible Kari Lake would have won Arizona’s gubernatorial race outright.

“Based on the data we’ve collected, we think that Google alone probably shifted about 80 million votes in the midterm elections. Now, it sounds like a lot, but remember, this is not a national election. These are midterm elections. So the 80 million votes is spread across hundreds of elections,” Epstein told The Western Journal.

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But what that means though is that, in tight races, over and over again, Google was determining the winner, was determining the outcome. Because all you have to do is shift one percent or a fraction of a percent in a tight race. That flips the outcome,” he explained.

Epstein said Google is shifting votes using “ephemeral experiences.” According to him, ephemeral experiences are content Google sends to users that appear in the form of an ad or a prompt, such as “Go vote.” This includes biased search results, search suggestions, voting reminders and interactions with digital personal assistants, to name a few examples.

These messages impact the user and then vanish for good, without the user ever knowing they have been manipulated. This makes them a powerful manipulation tool because these experiences can neither be reconstructed nor tracked by authorities.

Epstein was able to track these ephemeral experiences with a team of researchers. These researchers monitored the computers of more than 3,000 volunteers across the country — Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

Do you think Google killed the red wave?

During the midterms, Epstein and his team captured evidence of partisan manipulation. According to Epstein, his team was able to capture 2.4 million ephemeral experiences, which consistently had a liberal bias. It was this data collection that led the team to the conclusion that the bias was enough to shift 80 million votes.

So, for example, liberal users would receive more pop-up reminders telling them to vote. Or, when looking up info on a particular race, Google’s search bar would flash some carefully crafted suggestions tilted in the Democrat candidate’s favor. These examples may seem trivial, but according to Epstein, they can “shift the voting preferences of undecided voters” anywhere from 40 to 80 percent.

This liberal bias may have affected the outcome in some key states, such as Arizona.

“[P]laces where we saw substantial bias, like Arizona, the Republican candidate Blake Masters lost. The Republican candidate for governor there — Kari Lake — she lost. Arizona was a disaster for Republicans. And again, there was very substantial bias there in content that Google and other tech companies were sending people,” he said.

Since it’s ephemeral and cannot be traced by authorities, can it be stopped?

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“I did not think that it would be possible for Google to turn bias on and off like flipping a light switch. … It turns out I was wrong,” Epstein said. “They can literally turn bias off. And it looks like right now that they have done that in Georgia in these final days before the Senate runoff election.”

In 2020, three senators — Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee — sent a stern letter to the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai. Referencing Dr. Epstein’s work, the letter in effect told Google they had until Nov. 12, 2020, to stop their manipulation tactics. It worked. According to Epstein, Google did not send any “Go vote” reminders during the Georgia Senate runoffs.

Epstein believes Google has gotten the message and knows his team is watching as once again Georgia enters into another runoff election.

“Right this very minute, we are monitoring in Georgia, where there’s a Senate runoff scheduled for Dec. 6,” he told The Western Journal. “And we have a lot of field agents in Georgia, and as far as we can tell, Google has backed off in Georgia. They’re sending ‘Go vote’ reminders to everybody equally. And it looks like there’s almost no bias now in their search results.”

Epstein also believes monitoring is the solution to this problem of tech manipulation, and there’s very little that laws and regulations could do to stop Google’s undercover strategies.

“I think that this is the solution. I don’t think any laws are going to be passed, any regulations are going to be put in place — and certainly none will be passed that will make any difference,” Epstein told The Western Journal.

“I’m in touch with some of the people who are trying to create legislation and trying to create regulations, and nothing that’s in the works is moving forward very fast,” he said. “And frankly, every single thing I’ve seen would make no difference at all. Monitoring will make a difference. Monitoring is sunlight. … You turn on the lights, the cockroaches run away. “

In states like Arizona, there has been much controversy and upset over suspected election fraud, particularly involving voting machines. But Epstein warns that it’s a distraction. Google and other tech companies want people looking anywhere but at them.

“Any story that the tech companies want to spread, they spread. Any stories they want to suppress, they suppress. If you see a story spreading like wildfire, that means that they are either allowing it to go viral, or they’re causing it to go viral. And it means they want you to see that,” Epstein told The Western Journal.

“So this voting machine stuff, if it’s spreading and people are going nuts over it, it’s because the tech companies want that to occur. Now why would they want that to occur? Because they don’t want you looking at them. They want you looking at these inconsequential trifles. … And these are inconsequential trifles because they don’t affect very many votes — number one. Number two, they’re competitive, so who cares? And anything that’s competitive is good for us, it’s good for democracy, it’s good for our system,” he said.

“Sometimes one of these dirty tricks end up affecting the outcome of an election, but usually not, because dirty tricks are happening on both sides. The net effect of these kinds of manipulations is small.”

Epstein’s goal is to monitor big tech companies like Google 24 hours a day in all 50 states, reporting suspicious conduct to authorities and journalists all the while. He says this will be reality by the end of 2023.

“You’re talking about the most powerful industry that’s ever existed in the history of humankind. And they’re not just impacting our thinking and our behavior and our votes in the United States. They’re now influencing more than 3.5 billion people around the world,” he told The Western Journal.

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Ole Braatelien is a social media coordinator for The Western Journal. He currently attends Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication.




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