How Technology Subconsciously Manipulates Your Vote

You Might Be Influenced By The Very Device You’re Holding Right Now

Sarvasv Kulpati
Nov 6, 2018 · 6 min read

The Search Engine Manipulation Effect

Would you believe that you would be more likely to vote for someone just because they ranked higher in a Google Search?

The politicians who rank higher in search aren’t usually the best politicians, they’re the most controversial ones. And that rank means we subconsciously trust them more.

To test how the internet can affect our opinions, Epstein created a fake search engine called “Kadoodle” that was biased to rank results for one candidate over the other. Obviously, people would end up clicking on the top ones more often.

Facebook’s Vote Button

In the Icelandic elections in 2017, Facebook showed certain users a “vote button”, under which were the lines “Find out where to vote, and share that you voted.” Under that was smaller print saying that 61 people had already voted.

The real danger here comes with the fact that Facebook has the ability to choose exactly who sees these messages. That means that the public needs to trust them to show it to everyone impartially.

If a certain group of people sees it more than others, say, Democrats instead of Republicans, Facebook is giving one side an advantage, and therefore, undermining democracy.

Echo Chambers and Confirmation Bias

Fake News

A study of over 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 misinformation and conspiracy news outlets had some revealing findings about misinformation online.

Youtube’s Extreme Algorithms

Conclusion

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Sarvasv Kulpati

Written by

Writing about technology, philosophy, and everything in between.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +791K followers.

Sarvasv Kulpati

Written by

Writing about technology, philosophy, and everything in between.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +791K followers.

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