In a Friday appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Dr. Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, sounded the alarm on the potential influence of Big Tech companies on the forthcoming 2020 presidential election.
Per Breitbart, the claim came after Carlson pressed the researchers on what effect large technology companies will have on the results of the election.
"Based on the data that we're collecting, I would say that if what we're seeing is present nationwide they are probably shifting this year in this election about 15 million votes without anyone's awareness, except for what I'm doing, without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace," the doctor said of the possibility.
The researcher claimed that "bias in search results" is a primary method of influencing votes in a covert manner and said that 600 of AIBRT's field agents have been measuring this effect in swing states. According to Epstein, based on just the first 150,000 searches the team has examined, there is a "substantial pro-liberal bias" in anywhere from nine-of-ten to ten-of-ten search results on Google's first page.
"And we're seeing that bias in every single demographic group, in fact in one report we generated recently we saw more liberal bias in Google content going to conservatives than going to liberals."However, he noted that Bing and Yahoo do not follow the same pattern.
Although Big Tech companies have been accused of favoring left-wing politics for years, not all of them appear to fit the pattern. As reported by NPR, data scientists with access to Facebook's metrics claimed that no evidence exists of such prejudice on the platform. In addition, Salon reported that the platform is under fire for doing the opposite — amplifying right-wing news content and throttling left-wing alternatives.
According to a company spokesperson, the purportedly one-sided effects of the algorithm tweak believed to be behind the shift were not intentional.
"We did not make changes with the intent of impacting individual publishers," they said.
As Salon noted, Mother Jones was affected more than Facebook allegedly planned. Notably, the site's Editor-in-Chief, Clara Jeffery, pointed out that a list of top Facebook pages on October 16 was dominated by conservative sources like Breitbart, Fox News, and Dan Bongino.
Still, other sites like Google continue to face scrutiny from researchers like Epstein, who previously warned of the threat to election integrity posed by Big Tech. According to the researcher, the tactics he has thus discovered are probably not the only ones that are being employed by the technology giants.