(National Sentinel)Â Propaganda: A leading psychologist involved in a five-year study that looked at the effects social media behemoths Facebook and Google had on human behavior patterns toldÂ Fox News Tucker Carlson in Friday that the tech-media companies are capable of influencing election outcomes.
The study’s findings come as conservative publishers and media have increased complaints that both platforms are censoring their content or purposely limiting their reach.
Dr. Robert Epstein, a research psychologist at the American Institute of Behavioral Research and Technology, joined CarlsonÂ to discuss an upcoming presentation on â€œThe Search Suggestion Effect (SSE): How Search Suggestions Can Be Used To Shift Opinions and Voting Preferences Dramatically.â€
The researchers looked at the power of Google and Facebook to influence elections over a period of five years and came up with powerful results.
“I can tell you we should be paranoid because what Google and Facebook can do is really mind-boggling,” he told the host.
“For example, if Mark Zuckerberg on election day last year, if he had chosen to press the enter key early in the morning and just sent out a message to Hillary Clinton supporters only saying, ‘Go out and vote,’ that would have sent her an additional 450,000 voters that day with no one knowing that this had occurred. And thatâ€™s just Facebook,” he added.
“What Google can do is really off the scale. Our studies show that Google can take a 50-50 split among undecided voters and change it into a 90-10 split with no one knowing they had been manipulated and without leaving a paper trail,” the research continued.
“It has to do with those search suggestions. Literally from the very first character that you type into the search bar you are being manipulated,” Epstein said. “And weâ€™ve done 16 months of experiments. Weâ€™ve done all the research now and we know exactly how this worksâ€¦ The threat is absolutely, positively profound.”
Critics of recent changes in Facebook’s algorithms have said the social media behemoth is well aware of what its changes were designed to do — suppress conservative content.
A recent study by theÂ Western Journal found that after the changes, conservative media saw an average of 14 percent less traffic while Left-leaning sites received an average of 2 percent more traffic.
The gap between those percentages is likely to grow in the coming months ahead of the 2018 midterms, based on Epstein’s research.
Google, meanwhile, is launching a $300 million media initiativeÂ the company saysÂ go will support â€œhigh quality journalism,â€ while pledging to combat â€œmisinformationâ€ during the upcoming 2018 Midterm elections.
â€œGoogle says the News Initiative is focused on three broad goals â€” strengthening quality journalism, supporting sustainable business models and empowering newsrooms through technological innovation,â€ reported Tech Crunch. â€œItâ€™s also committing to spend $300 million over the next three years on its various journalism-related projects.â€
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