There’s been a lot of finger-pointing after the Red Tsunami of Vengeance failed to materialize in the 2022 midterms. Two of the people who share the bulk of the blame – Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell – have settled into their permanent sinecures in Washington after being rewarded for their failures. Some even blame President Trump, despite his amazing track record of picking winning candidates. But according to Dr. Robert Epstein, a research psychologist with the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, not enough people are paying attention to the Big Tech companies in this mess.
Dr. Epstein says the tech companies put their fingers on the scale in favor of Democrats once again, which resulted in the Red Fizzle instead of the Red Wave. Epstein says all of the liberal tech companies participated in election meddling, but Google in particular was “the biggest, most aggressive, and most arrogant culprit.”
He believes that Google shifted millions of votes to the Democrats in the months leading up to the 2022 midterms. Epstein alleges that Google used a variety of tactics to do this. One of the main tactics was biased results in Google’s search engine. Google controls the bulk of search traffic on the internet. Whenever people searched for information related to candidates, Google sent them to content that made Democrats appear virtuous, and Republicans villainous.
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Any content that Google didn’t want people to see got suppressed. Think of how much the media hyped “Putin’s price hike” when talking about inflation while ignoring the Democrats’ $5 trillion in excess spending on the Green New Deal and you get the idea. YouTube, which is owned by Google, recommended left-leaning propaganda videos to voters.
Email marketing has been a huge part of political campaigning since 2012 for both parties. Campaigns send out messages requesting donations from people who’ve donated in the past, or who might be willing to donate since they’ve opted in to receive the campaign’s messages. Google spies on everything you do online, so they have a fairly good idea whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent.
Dr. Epstein says that Google tipped the scales by sending Republican fundraising emails to spam while Democrat fundraising emails always made it to the inbox where people could read and see them. This directly impacted Republican campaigns by preventing them from raising enough money to compete. Blake Masters in Arizona, for example, could have desperately used more funding from donors after Mitch McConnell pulled $8 million in funding out of that race. But Google sent all of Masters’ fundraising pitches to spam.
In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterms, Google sent reminders to Democrats and moderates to get out and vote on their homepage. Republicans and conservatives received no such nudging. Epstein believes that millions of votes were shifted in favor of Democrats due to this tactic alone.
Having studied Google’s tactics for years, Epstein knows that the company calls these types of tactics “ephemeral experiences” or “ephemeral content.” By flashing biased content in the recommended videos on YouTube, or using biased search results, it impacts a certain segment of low-information voters in a big way. It might not have much effect on people who are politically aware, paying attention to politics all the time, and are firmly set in their beliefs. But for the people who only pay attention a few weeks before Election Day, Epstein says it is determinative in how millions of people end up voting.
The techniques that many Big Tech companies use are so advanced that Members of Congress who are directly impacted by it don’t even understand them. Anyone with hopes of Congress reining this problem in any time soon hasn’t been paying attention.