But research I have been conducting with Ronald Robertson has shown that with its virtual monopoly on search, Google has the power to flip the outcomes of close elections easily – and without anyone knowing. Over time, they could change the face of parliaments and congresses worldwide to suit their business needs – keeping regulators at bay, getting favorable tax deals and so on. And because their business is unregulated in most countries at this point, flipping elections in this way would be legal.
Whenever a major source of influence is biased, with no possibility that opposing views will be heard, the impact of that influence is overwhelming.
At the moment, the Google search engine is a source of unopposed influence, which also happens to be highly credible, opaque in its methodology, massive in scope, rapidly increasing in reach and beyond the scrutiny or control of both regulators and candidates.
The point of this research is to save democracy – really. As long as an unregulated company has a monopoly on search, it has the power to make democracy as we know it meaningless.
News, opinions and related research data provided by Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.
This is actually an interesting story. Not that most of us need a research psychologist to tell us how bad it is for one company to have so much power, but it does illustrate how Google has the power to manipulate not just search results but the world. And the results are backed up with some data too.
A good follow-up story would be to study those who believe Google is good for society in its current/expanding monopolistic role. I'd like to see what kind of a disorder these people have and only a psychologist or psychiatrist might be able to dig deep within the brain to find out what the problem truly is.