Yes, you read that right. And no, this isn't a conspiracy theory.
The Russians only wish they could interfere in elections the way that Silicon Valley's big tech giants do. In Senate testimony this week, an expert witness (who is also a Hillary Clinton supporter) gave breathtaking testimony to the fact that in the 2016 election Google helped steer between 2.6 and 10 million voters toward Hillary Clinton on Election Day.
Robert Epstein is a former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. He testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, and his statements were as shocking as they were concerning.
According to Epstein's research, Google's biased search results swung at least 2.6 million votes to Clinton. In a phenomenon he calls the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, Epstein argues that big tech algorithms are influencing the way Americans think and vote in ways that most people don't even realize.
"I believe the threats posed by Google and to a lesser extent Facebook are so serious that everyone needs to know about them," he said. "Here are just three disturbing findings from my research, which adheres to the very highest standards of scientific integrity. Number one, in 2016 Google's search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that shifted at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton, whom I supported."
Epstein calls for greater transparency in big tech to allow Americans to see and understand Google's biases when crafting search results. While that solution would no doubt move our country in the right direction, there's a deeper problem that both incentivizes and enables companies like Google to perform an outsized role in American politics.
There's a reason Google targets federal elections. The massive power and jurisdiction of Washington, D.C., means that influencing just a few national elections can make a huge difference in our nation's laws and policies. Getting this or that candidate in the White House or the Senate can swing the balance of power to a particular party, which in turn changes how all 327 million American citizens live and work.
The ultimate solution is not to change how big tech operates but to change the playing field entirely. If Washington's power were limited, companies like Google would have a much smaller incentive to influence federal elections. If state and local elections mattered more than national ones, it would also be much more difficult for big tech to swing the balance of power throughout the country. It's one thing to encourage Americans to vote for one candidate in a presidential election; it's quite another to meddle in the thousands of local races across the country.
Even though our Founders could never have imagined the technological advances we've made since 1776, they did empower liberty-loving Americans to maintain our founding principles, ensure free elections, and limit the power of an overreaching federal government.
Under Article V of the Constitution, the people and the states can call a Convention of States to propose constitutional amendments. These amendments can reduce the size, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government and return that decision-making power to the state and local levels. With power dispersed among all 50 states, large west-coast companies will be hard-pressed to dictate laws and regulations for the Midwest, the South, or the Northeast.
Millions of Americans have sign the Petition to call the first-ever Convention of States, and you can too! Just sign your name below to let your state legislator know that you support the last, best solution to de-centralize power in our country and restore the decision-making rights of all Americans.