Google, for instance, with its search results can change your opinion about the presidential candidate for the next elections. If you Google search about any party candidate, the top stories which could be either positive or negative can have a huge impact on the way you vote. So, when the time comes, websites such as Facebook and Google can influence presidential elections in your country.
According to Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and his team coined the term Vote Manipulation Power (VMP) and said:
Robert’s team surveyed India’s Lok Sabha elections and were amazed seeing the intensive election environment in the country. The voters, in general, got heavily exposed to the information by the social media. The team surveyed the undecided voters and gave them the information from the Google results, and the VMP scores were off the charts.
If you are a working class professional, there are chances that most of the information regarding the parties and their candidates would come through the Google search or the news feed from the social media websites or from your regional groups.
Influencing Google’s search algorithm is not easy, but not impossible either. Whatever, the results you see, come from the upvotes and the ‘reach of the news’. So, if you are not from any political wing, or a hardcore supporter of any party, the Google results will have a definite impact while you vote, and become the key factor as Google influences elections.
During the 2010 US congressional elections, 61 million people were called upon to vote for anyone of their liking by Facebook. It was later found that 340,000 extra votes were generated as an effect.
It is not possible for Google or Facebook to completely maintain a neutral algorithm during the election process. If not the parties, then the supporters try to influence on the social media platform.
With the Google search rankings, the general public can easily be maneuvered and the election results tweaked. So, collect information from all the sources and get to a common conclusion, before believing just one source, because now you know, how your favorite search engine Google influence elections in your country.
With inputs from Wired