Saturday, August 10, 2019

Google's influence > Russian influence

Did Google manipulate the electorate in 2016 such that it sent 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton? This PowerLine Blog article talks about a liberal Democrat named Robert Epstein, a psychologist, professor, and author, who accuses Google of having rigged the 2016 election to the tune of 2.6 million votes for HRC. The author of the PowerLine article, Paul Mirengoff, doubts that Google's influence is quite that significant. He writes:

I’m skeptical that Google sent anything approaching 2.6 million votes Hillary Clinton’s way in 2016, just as I’m skeptical that “the Russians” caused more than a handful of Americans to vote for Donald Trump. However, Epstein’s claim of a strong Google effect seems more plausible than claims of a Russia effect.

For one thing, Russian [social-media] efforts apparently consisted of outlandish statements on social media that mirrored what others on the fringe were saying. They were a drop in the bucket — or rather the cesspool. By contrast, millions of mainstream Americans rely on Google for information without suspecting that they are being manipulated.

For another, Epstein isn’t just a respected psychologist. He’s a liberal who supported Hillary Clinton. Epstein has no political interest in arguing that her vote total was inflated through manipulation.

The parallel claim cannot be made when it comes to those who argue that Russian efforts on social media swung the election to Trump. To my knowledge, those who advance this theory are all Democrats and/or [Trump-haters]. They have a strong political interest in claiming “we was robbed.”
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