Tuesday, November 08, 2022


Ask any Republican about the likely outcome of the midterms and you'll be told that we're about to experience a "red wave," if not a "red tsunami." It's totally going to happen, and all the Democrats in close elections will lose ... except that it won't happen, or it might not, because Democrats are going to steal a bunch of wins, as Gateway Pundit makes clear:

Also, just in time for the election, the Daily Caller has published a piece by Robert Epstein, a psychologist and former editor in chief of Psychology Today who became a right-wing favorite in the Trump years, even though he says he was a Hillary Clinton/Joe Biden voter:
EPSTEIN: Google Is Shifting Votes On A Massive Scale...

My research team is currently monitoring online political content being sent to voters in swing states through more than 2,500 computers owned by a politically-diverse group of registered voters (our “field agents”), and we are concerned about what we’re seeing....

We have so far preserved more than 1.9 million “ephemeral experiences” – exposure to short-lived content that impacts people and then disappears, leaving no trace – that Google and other companies are able to use to shift opinions and voting preferences....

Our preliminary analyses of the data we have collected so far in 2022 are ... disturbing. In swing states, and especially in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Florida, we are finding a high level of liberal bias in Google search results, but not in search results on Bing (the same pattern we have found in every election since 2016). In several swing states, 92 percent of the autoplay videos being fed to YouTube users are coming from liberal news sources (YouTube is owned by Google). Unless Google backs down, it will shift hundreds of thousands of votes on Election Day itself with those brazen targeted go-vote reminders – and we will catch them doing so.
According to Epstein, voters are Pavlovian zombies who respond to these "ephemeral experiences" with a massive shift toward Democrats. Check out Epstein's numbers:
Search results that favor one candidate (in other words, that lead people who click on high-ranking results to web pages that glorify that candidate) can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by up to 80 percent in some demographic groups after a single search. 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. A single question-and-answer interaction on a digital personal assistant can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by more than 40 percent.
Epstein became a right-wing hero in 2019 when he told a Senate committee about some of his findings. Fox Business Channel did a report on Epstein, Donald Trump watched the report and tweeted about it, and Epstein was famous. Epstein's numbers were absurd, and Trump made them even more so:
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Epstein said the pro-Clinton bias was “sufficient to have shifted between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes” to Clinton.

There is no basis in Epstein’s research for Trump’s claim that the alleged bias might have affected “16 million” votes. Epstein did testify in July that big tech companies in general could potentially shift “upwards of 15 million votes” in the 2020 election, but he didn’t claim that this happened in 2016.
Slate's April Glaser reported on Epstein at the time and found some unsavory details about him:
A pop psychologist and cable-news regular, he regularly publishes op-eds in conservative outlets like the Epoch Times and the Daily Caller, as well as the occasional piece in Politico or USA Today. He once appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to explain why he thinks teens should be treated as adults (in a book on that topic, he argued in favor of corporal punishment), and on a Fox News morning show in 2008, he argued in favor of teens getting married, pointing out that “Mary was 12 or 13 when she had Jesus, was she not?”
His reseach is thinly sourced:
... in his Senate committee testimony, ... he didn’t mention that his huge claim is based on monitoring the search results of just 21 undecided voters out of 95 voters for a 2017 white paper. In his submitted testimony, Epstein did provide seven pages of citations—but all of them are papers or op-eds he wrote or co-wrote himself. Only one of them—a 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, about how biased results produced by search engines could have the ability to sway undecided voters—was peer-reviewed. Even that study didn’t demonstrate that this has actually happened.
She also noted that Epstein seems to have it in for Google for personal reasons:
An article in the New York Times from early 2012 points to a tiff the psychologist had with the company after his website was hacked. Google directed visitors not to go to his page until the malicious code was removed—and kept the warning up even after Epstein tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to clean up his security and begged Google to remove the label. Epstein threatened to sue the company for not removing the warning, explaining to the Times that he felt like he was yelling at a brick wall. Later that year, he published a series of articles in the Huffington Post about why Google should be regulated. For the next few years, he began to publish more regularly about how easily Google could throw an election, largely citing himself. Starting in 2016, he become a regular on Breitbart discussing the Google topic.
And now here he is, choosing this moment to explain again how an election is allegedly being manipulated in the Democrats' favor -- and the Daily Caller is publishing his piece even though the Democrats are definitely going to be crushed, no doubt about it.

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