In his latest attack on social media. President Donald Trump tweeted a "just out" report claiming Google manipulated the 2016 vote to favor Hillary Clinton.
The President did not follow up with any supporting info for the claim, but it may have been a reference to Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist with the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, who claimed in Hill testimony last month--in a hearing on "Google and Censorship"--that in 2016, Google's search algorithm "likely impacted undecided voters in a way that shifted at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton," whom Epstein added he had supported, and maybe more.
Epstein, a longtime critic of Google, said that its search results were biased in favor of Clinton, which he attributed to a Search Engine Manipulation effect he wrote about in a 2015 paper for the National Academy of Sciences. He said such manipulation can easily produce shifts in undecided voters.
"This researcher's inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016," Google said in a statement. "As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment. Our goal is to always provide people with access to high quality, relevant information for their queries, without regard to political viewpoint.”
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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