Without evidence, Trump accuses Google of manipulating millions of votes – TechSwitch

    The president this morning lashed out at Google on Twitter, accusing the corporate of manipulating hundreds of thousands of votes within the 2016 election to sway it towards Hillary Clinton. The authority on which he bases this severe accusation, nevertheless, is little greater than supposition in an outdated paper reheated by months-old congressional testimony.
    Trump’s tweet this morning really cited no paper in any respect, actually, although he did tag conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, maybe asking them to analyze. It’s additionally unclear who he thinks ought to sue the corporate.

    Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google must be sued. My victory was even greater than thought! @JudicialWatch
    — Donald J. Trump (@actualDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019

    Coincidentally, Fox News had simply talked about the existence of such a report about 5 minutes earlier. Trump has additionally just lately criticized Google and CEO Sundar Pichai over quite a lot of perceived slights.
    In reality, the report was not “just issued,” and doesn’t say what the president suggests it did. What each Fox and Trump look like referring to is a paper printed in 2017 that described what the authors say was a bias in Google and different engines like google throughout the run-up to the 2016 election.
    If you’re questioning why you haven’t heard about this specific examine, I can let you know why — it’s a really dangerous examine. Its contents don’t quantity to something, not to mention proof by which to accuse a significant firm of election interference.
    The authors checked out search outcomes for 95 folks over the 25 days previous the election and evaluated the primary web page for bias. They declare to have discovered that based mostly on “crowdsourced” determinations of bias, the method for which isn’t described, that almost all search outcomes, particularly on Google, tended to be biased in favor of Clinton.
    No knowledge on these searches, resembling a pattern search and outcomes and the way they have been decided to be biased, is supplied. There’s no dialogue of the very fact, for instance, that Google routinely and overtly tailors search outcomes based mostly on an individual’s earlier searches, acknowledged preferences, location and so forth.

    In reality, Epstein’s “report” lacks all of the {qualifications} of any extraordinary analysis paper.
    There isn’t any summary or introduction, no strategies part to indicate the statistics work and definitions of phrases, no dialogue, no references. Without this fundamental data the doc shouldn’t be solely incapable of being reviewed by friends or specialists, however is indistinguishable from utterly invented suppositions. Nothing on this paper might be in any manner verified.
    Robert Epstein freely references himself, nevertheless: a single 2015 paper in PNAS on how search outcomes could possibly be intentionally manipulated to have an effect on a voter in search of data on candidates, and the numerous, many opinion items he has written on the topic, incessantly on far-right shops the Epoch Times and Daily Caller, but additionally non-partisan ones like USA Today and Bloomberg Businessweek.
    The numbers superior within the examine are utterly with out benefit. Citing math he doesn’t describe, Epstein says that “a pro-Clinton bias in Google’s search results would over time, shift at least 2.6 million votes to Clinton.” No mechanism or justification for this assertion is supplied, besides a extremely theoretical one based mostly on concepts and assumptions from his 2015 examine, which had little in widespread with this one. The numbers are, basically, made up.
    In different phrases, this so-called report is nothing of the type — a nonfactual doc written with no scientific justification of its claims written by somebody who publishes anti-Google editorials virtually month-to-month. It was not printed in a journal of any type, merely put on-line at a personal nonprofit analysis company referred to as the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, the place Epstein is on employees and which seems to exist virtually solely to advertise his work — resembling it’s.
    (In response to my inquiry, AIBRT mentioned that it’s not legally sure to disclose its donors and chooses to not, however acknowledged that it doesn’t settle for “gifts that might cause the organization to bias its research projects in any way.”)
    Lastly, in his paper, Epstein speculates that Google could have been manipulating the info they have been accumulating for the report, citing variations between knowledge from Gmail customers and non-users, selecting to throw away all the previous whereas nonetheless reporting of it:
    As you may see, the search outcomes seen by non-gmail customers have been much more biased than the outcomes seen by gmail customers. Perhaps Google recognized our confidants via its gmail system and focused them to obtain unbiased outcomes; we now have no technique to affirm this at current, however it’s a believable rationalization for the sample of outcomes we discovered.
    I go away it to the reader to evaluate the plausibility of this assertion.
    If that have been all, it will be greater than sufficient. But Trump’s quotation of this flimsy paper doesn’t even get the info proper. His assertion was that “Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election,” and the report doesn’t even state that.

    The supply for this false declare seems to be Epstein’s latest look in entrance of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July. Here he obtained star therapy from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who requested him to share his skilled opinion on the opportunity of tech manipulation of voting. Cruz’s earlier skilled for this objective was conservative radio discuss present host Dennis Prager.
    Again citing no knowledge, research or mechanisms in anyway, Epstein described 2.6 million as a “rock-bottom minimum” of votes that Google, Facebook, Twitter and others may have affected (he doesn’t say did affected, or tried to have an effect on). He additionally says that in subsequent elections, particularly in 2020, “if all these companies 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.”
    “The methods they are using are invisible, they’re subliminal, they’re more powerful than most any effects I’ve seen in the behavioral sciences,” Epstein mentioned, however didn’t really describe what the methods are. Though he did counsel that Mark Zuckerberg may ship out a “get out the vote” notification solely to Democrats and nobody would ever know — absurd.
    In different phrases, the numbers are usually not solely invented, however unrelated to the 2016 election, and inclusive of all tech firms, not simply Google. Even if Epstein’s claims have been anyplace close to justifiable, Trump’s tweet mischaracterizes them and will get the whole lot mistaken. Nothing about any of that is anyplace near right.
    Google issued an announcement addressing the president’s accusation, saying, “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
    You can learn the total “report” under:
    EPSTEIN & ROBERTSON 2017-A Method for Detecting Bias in Search Rankings-AIBRT by TechSwitch on Scribd

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