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Liberal Research Psychologist Found ‘Very Dramatic Pro-Hillary Clinton Bias’ in Google Search Results

By Michael Morris | September 12, 2019 | 12:37pm EDT
Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and self-professed liberal, Dr. Robert Epstein(right) with nationally syndicated radio talk show host, TV host, author and American lawyer Mark Levin (left) on FOX News Channel's "Life, Liberty & Levin." (Screenshot)

Speaking on Mark Levin’s FOX News Channel show “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and self-professed liberal, Dr. Robert Epstein admitted that, in his research, he found a “very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias” in Google search results.

“I can’t say what Google did, but I can tell you what we found,” stated Dr. Robert Epstein. “We found very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias on Google, but not the other search engines, and in all 10 search positions on the first page of search results. That’s quite dramatic.”

Mark Levin’s interview with Dr. Robert Epstein came a day before “50 attorneys general and 48 states announced a probe into Google on September 9 for practices that “may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers,’” according to MRC Techwatch. “The leader of the bipartisan coalition, Texas AG Ken Paxton, said in his announcement, ‘We have seen evidence that Google’s business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users’ privacy, and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information.’” MRC Techwatch, later in the piece, explains that this investigation is “completely separate” from the “Department of Justice’s investigation into Google.”

Below is a transcript, in pertinent part, of Dr. Robert Epstein’s remarks from his interview with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin on his TV show “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday:

Mark Levin: “And so how does that get accomplished these [Google] algorithms that are changed and adjusted and so forth? But to have that significant of an impact, obviously, someone or something wants someone to win and someone to lose. For the person who goes on Google, how is that manifested?”

Dr. Robert Epstein: “Well, if you go onto Google, and you type in anything that is election related—and that can be hundreds of things; you type immigration, or you type in the wall, you know, you think of all the things that are related to elections—the point is, you end up with some search suggestions that are flashed at you as you are typing. We now know that those suggestions have a very, very powerful effect on people and that they alone can shift opinions and votes dramatically. And then search results appear below. And the point is, if there’s a bias in them, which means, if a search result is high up on a list, if that takes you to a webpage which makes one candidate look better than another, well, if you’re undecided and you’re trying to make up your mind, what we’ve learned is that information, posted high in Google search results, will shift opinions among undecided people dramatically because people trust Google and they especially trust high-ranking search results. That’s why 50 percent of all clicks go to the top two items.”

Levin: “Is that what Google did?”

Dr. Epstein: “Well, again, I can’t what Google did, but I can tell you what we found. We found very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias on Google, but not the other search engines, and in all 10 search positions on the first page of search results. That’s quite dramatic.”

Levin: “So it’s on Google. People go on Google. It’s front-loaded pro-Hillary, anti-Trump. Well then who does it if Google doesn’t do it? It just happens? Somebody has to put information in for information to be prioritized.”

Dr. Epstein: “Well, what Google tends to say in these types of situations is it’s an organic phenomenon – you know, organic, like organic food, like organic’s good.”

Levin: “Sure.”

Dr. Epstein: “So it’s organic, meaning: it’s all generated by users. It’s entirely the fault of users, and the fact is—”

Levin: “Is it?”

Dr. Epstein: “Well, the point is, that’s nonsense because in the controlled experiments I run, I determine, you know, which candidate is favored in the search results, or I can mix up the search results so they favor neither candidate. So, Google actually has total control over what users see. So to blame this kind of bias on users, it just makes no sense.”

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