On July 19, 2019, Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, testifies at a Senate hearing and persuasively argues that Google helped influence 2.6 million votes in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Dr. Epstein has also been a long time supporter of the Clintons.
A month later, President Trump tweets about Dr. Epstein’s findings and Hillary Clinton responds by claiming her good friend’s study was “debunked.”
Breitbart explains, “…Hillary Clinton accused President Donald Trump of lacking evidence to support his claim that biased Google search results shifted votes in her favor in 2016.
However, she’s since been contradicted by Dr. Robert Epstein, the nation’s leading expert on the psychological effects of search engines — even though he himself was a Hillary supporter!
It was Dr. Epstein’s research that Trump cited Monday, leading Clinton to tweet that the psychologist and search engine expert’s findings had been “debunked” and was based on a sample of “21 undecided voters.”
Dr. Epstein says both of Clinton’s claims are wrong.
“I was and still am a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton,” said Dr. Epstein, in a comment to Breitbart News. “Her tweet, however, is inaccurate.”
“I’m not aware that any credible authority has ‘debunked’ my 2016 election monitoring project. When Google’s CEO said, in December 2018, that ‘we take issue with Epstein’s methodology,’ that’s hardly a debunking.”
Dr. Epstein also took issue with the allegation that his research was based on 21 undecided voters.
“My numbers are based on two things” said Epstein. “Results from my 2016 monitoring project, which preserved 13,207 election-related search results, along with the 98,044 web pages to which the search results linked. he data were collected by 95 field agents in 24 states — all registered voters — all of whom conducted their searches by drawing from a list 250 different search terms which independent raters had judged to be unbiased politically.”
The psychologist also highlighted “years of conducting randomized, controlled, counterbalanced, double-blind experiments — now encompassing tens of thousands of participants and five national elections in four countries — which allow me to calculate fairly precisely the impact that biased search results have on undecided voters.”
Epstein said his 2016 research “found significant pro-Hillary bias on Google.com, but not on Bing or Yahoo, and the pro-Hillary bias was present in all ten search positions on the first page of Google search results.”
“The minimum number of votes which I believe Google’s biased search results shifted to Hillary Clinton in the months leading up to the 2016 election was 2.6 million, and that estimate is conservative. It is conservative because I had no way of measuring the impact that repeated exposures to Google’s biased content would have had on users over time. I also had no way of knowing whether Google used targeting to influence users.”