Bob's Words of Wisdom

How Powerful is Big Tech’s influence in our Elections?

I have been saying for years that if we put the right restrictions on big tech there would be a much different outcome in our elections. Since the advent of big tech in around 2000, it has become more difficult for pollsters to call elections as was the case in the current mid-terms. The big “Red Wave” turned out to be nothing more than a day at the beach for the democrats. So far as of the date of this publication, Democrats have taken 50 senate seats when the republicans were expected to win the majority of senate seats by just about every conservative news station in existence. Not only that but we still have 27 house races that are too close to call with the Republicans so far winning 211 and still need 7 more to win the house. So, tell me why is it that the polls were so wrong and why is it that we are still counting ballots 5 days after the election in many state races?

As I have said the election process began to take a turn soon after the beginning of the new millennium. With the advent of internet communications becoming simplified as most of the U.S. was connected to it in some shape or form. It was the advent of the 2008 election of Barrack Obama that we saw the full impact of a candidate waging a campaign using the latest in technology available and wielding its power to connect with enough voters to take the presidential election with 52.8% of the vote. No one knew who Obama was when he was nominated by the democratic party, but it soon became evident that he was a man to be reckoned with when it came to connecting with the people especially democrats. The fact that he was the first Black candidate was very powerful, but it was a new technological campaign strategy that his team used that won him the presidency. Using social networks and being able to interact with constituents from around the country gave him a huge advantage and something that had never been done before. Being able to interact with millions of followers via e-mail allowed him to pass along information about his activities and debates that in the past was handled by mail, TV advertising and radio. This strategy would change elections forever going forward as they would now be fought online and not on Townhall podiums, or street corners with cardboard campaign signs.

Obama’s cadre of technology geeks made inroads in the election campaigning process that changed forever how elections would be run in the future. The technology pioneers from Silicon Valley were more than willing to help his cause as most of them were liberal and before you know it he had a complete in house staff of technology geeks working to simplify the drudgeries of campaign reporting. Justin Lewis, Wasserman designed a program to automate many of those reporting and monitoring procedures and eventually they were fully integrated into the campaign process and so began the computerization of just about all elections.

With the advent of social media, it is clear that these companies have a distinct advantage in who and how they contact various types of voters. Remember that it is the business of these companies to gather information about their customers and they do it all too well. They are continuously gathering their users’ personal information, including age, gender, location, and interests. They gather even more data via likes, clicks, or time spent on pages. What better way to size up their users and be able to suggest different posts or ads they might be interested in. Most users of these social media don’t have a clue that they are actually giving away much of their very valuable information only to be used by the gatherers to influence many of their decisions. The biggest gatherer of this type of information is the Technology giant Google which just about anyone using email is dependent on for this free service. The problem is that it is not free. There is a cost, and that cost is the information they gather on individuals and the information they feed them via their search engine. A recent study found over 1.9 million “ephemeral experiences” that Google and other firms were using to “shift opinions and voting preferences. These experiences are short-lived content that immediately disappears without leaving a trace after user consumption. These experiences were expected to reach 2.5 million by election day. (2) Dr. Robert Epstein says that search engine results that favor one political candidate were found to influence undecided voters so much that it reached up to 80 percent in some demographic groups. You can see how search engines like Googles have the ability to influence voters like magic. “Now you see it now you don’t.” Dr. Epstein further relates “Carefully crafted search suggestions that flash at you while you are typing a search term can turn a 50/50 split among undecided voters into a 90/10 split with no one knowing they have been manipulated,” (1)

“A single question-and-answer interaction on a digital personal assistant can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by more than 40 percent.” Up to 92% of auto play Videos sent and run by “YouTube” before and during the election were from liberal media sources. Do these unsolicited videos have an effect on the election results? You can bet they do. We have many times written about these egregious intrusions on our privacy by Big Tech like Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Unfortunately, people continue to use these sources for information even when there are many other alternative search engines available at no cost. Folks if you haven’t read George Orwell’s “1984” a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale I suggest you get a copy. We have entered a new era of the information age where all information is transactional in one form or another. The tech giants influence just about everything we do, buy or say in this new digital world and it has the capacity to totally consume us as a people and as a country. It is high time to turn the tide back in favor of the individual when it comes to influencing and gathering information. It is time that congress acted to curtail the snooping that is done automatically on each and every one of us in our country when we use these systems. We have no secrets anymore with the advent of these new technologies. We have all submitted ourselves to a new surveillance system in our homes that enables the gathering of some of our most personal information from when we go to bed to what we watch on TV and so much more. If you want to get your privacy, back find a new e-mail provider that may cost you a few dollars but doesn’t gather you information and for heaven’s sake, get off of the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep your information private and keep technology from influencing our elections.

  1. Select portions of this article were garnered from an Article in the Epoch Times. You can read the entire article HERE. If you want to find conservative news, we recommend a subscription to the Epoch Times.
  2. Dr. Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, in California
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