How U.S. Social Media Manipulates Election…An Introduction, meet Dr. Robert Epstein

social-media-buttons-2 In the coming weeks we will be putting together a series of posts that will give you information that will help you research and understand how Social Media collects and uses the information they collect from you when you use their platform.

All of the information they collect is subliminal, invisible and noncompetitive.

This information obtained unwittingly from the users, is being used to modify your behavior in ways researchers never imagined.

The ephemeral effects from the use of this information, makes the Russian ads placed during the last election cycle look childish by comparison and cannot be counteracted.

The foremost behavioral scientist studying this is Dr. Robert Epstein, Ph.D. We here at OHB suggest that you become familiar with his work;  Epstein 1 Epstein 2 Epstein 3

For the purpose of this introductory bog, OHB would like to start with Dr. Epstein’s Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and how it can manipulate the VOTE.

It is no secret that higher search engine results, consumer likes and thumbs up or likes make people feel good about themselves and a product that they are searching for. What most people don’t know is that your search results have already been manipulated to shows you results that you most likely will act upon;

[SEME] “leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much an illusion. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of the bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn’t protect you from it.Bottom line: biased search results can easily produce shifts in the opinions and voting preference of undecided voters by 20 percent or more –up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.” (Epstein1)

What makes SEME so effective; page rank/search list. This is the back bone of BackRub/Google, created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

As students the two developers were against pop-up ads or advertising funded search engines…However,  in 2000, the pair began selling advertising from key word searches.

Page and Brin probably realized how much their page rank/search list priority programming was worth when Mr. Bill Gross came a calling with a pay/click patent infringement law suit in hand.

But the real key to Google’s success and Dr. Epstein’s research is the search list;

“Why do search rankings elicit such consistent browsing behavior? Part of the answer lies in the basic design of a search engine results page: the list. For more than a century, research has shown that an item’s position on a list has a powerful and persuasive impact on subjects’ [sic] recollection and evaluation of that item (16–18). Specific order effects, such as primacy and recency,show that the first and last items presented on a list, respectively,are more likely to be recalled than items in the middle (16, 17) (Epstein 4)

Next: The psychology of it all

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s