In my earlier post on Vote Zuckerberg No 1? Gatekeepers, intermediaries and Corporate Social Responsibility, I adverted once again to the considerable control that large private companies, such as Facebook and Google, can exert over the flow of information, and noted some stories in which Facebook denied seeking to influence the voting intentions of its customers.
… So let’s look at the power of Google via six searches.
Search 1: How does Google search work?
Search 2: Trout flies
Search 3: Hotels Tallinn
Search 4: Can Google affect the result of an election
But is there a risk that its market dominance and the sheer power of the Google algorithm could even determine who rules us?
Any search around this topic will throw up articles quoting Dr Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research. He says his research showed that where candidates or parties appeared in search results it could influence elections. “It will shift the opinions of undecided people so dramatically that just being higher in search rankings can win someone an election.”