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March 29, 2013


Could Google Sway an Election?

Psychologist Robert Epstein has testing the impact of a fictitious search engine "that manipulated search rankings, giving an edge to a favored political candidate by pushing up flattering links and pushing down unflattering ones," the Washington Post reports.

"There is no reason to believe that Google would manipulate politically sensitive search results... Yet Epstein's core finding -- that a dominant search engine could alter perceptions of candidates in close elections -- has substantial support. Given the wealth of information available about Internet users, a search engine could even tailor results for ­­­certain groups, based on location, age, income level, past search history, Web browsing history or other factors."














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