New research from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT) has shown that biased Google search results pushed tens of thousands of votes towards Democrat candidates in three key congressional races during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and could have handed the Democrats millions of additional votes across the country.
The study was performed by psychologist and search engine expert Dr. Robert Epstein and his team at the AIBRT. Here are the key takeaways:
- The study analyzed the search results for three highly competitive Southern California congressional races which Democrats ultimately won.
- In total, the study looked at 47,300 election-related searches from Google, Bing, and Yahoo that had been preserved in the days leading up to the 2018 midterm elections and around 400,000 web pages which were linked to from these search results.
- The study found that Google search results had a clear pro-Democrat bias when compared to the other search engines, with Google search results significantly more likely to show pro-Democrat stories and links at the top of the results page.
- Epstein and his team concluded that at least 35,455 undecided voters in these districts could have been persuaded to vote Democrat because of these biased Google search results. If you consider that every vote Democrats gain is a potential lost vote for Republicans, over 70,910 total votes could have been lost by Republicans as a result of this Google bias. The Democrats won these districts by 71,337 votes which means these biased Google search results could have given the Democrats the majority of their votes in these three districts.
- Epstein and his team added that the biased Google search results could have influenced a total of 4.6 million undecided voters across the country to vote Democrat.
Breitbart News also made the following observations about the study which suggest that Epstein and his team’s conclusions could be understated:
- The study is based on the assumption that voters conducted a single election-related search result each week. Research has shown that the average Google user performs more than five searches per day so the impact of these biased search results could be much larger.
- The study gave conservative outlets like Breitbart News a far higher bias rating than left-leaning outlets such as the New York Times. It also gave Wikipedia a non-liberal bias rating despite the fact that it has been heavily censoring conservative websites since 2017.
This study follows numerous stories of Google exerting bias against conservatives using its market position to influence elections. Last week, the company was accused of paying for fake news in order to influence policy in Washington and earlier this month, a leaked audio recording revealed the company’s plans to influence the Republican party. This month a Google software engineer also leaked an internal email which once again highlighted the company’s heavy bias against conservatives.
As politicians slowly realize just how much power and influence Google has, threats of regulation are starting to circulate. However, these ideas are still in the early stages and are generally not very well thought out.
In order to stop this biased company having so much control over our political discourse, we need to start embracing alternatives to Google. The alternatives to Google search, YouTube, Gmail, and many of Google’s other services are growing stronger each day. By using these alternatives, you can take the power away from Google and create a more free and open internet.