indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs
This article, How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election, appearing in Politico invites a question: Why stop with politics?
Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.
- For more on those experiments see The search engine manipulation effect (SEME) … in PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The question is, to what extent might Google be shaping religious beliefs, even beliefs about the Shroud of Turin? I’m not saying that if that is so it is intentional. I’m not even suggesting that a scientifically-oriented Silicon Valley mindset permeates algorithms.
But hasn’t this been the sort of thing we have voiced about journalists? Food for thought!