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It's The Information, Stupid

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the influence of information and search engines on elections, highlighting how technology companies have become the biggest controllers of information in the 21st century. It examines the impact of search engine manipulation on election outcomes and the broader implications of the digital age on democracy.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Influence of Search

1. What are the key findings from Robert Epstein's research on the impact of search engine bias on election outcomes?

  • Biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more
  • The shift can be as high as 80% in some demographic groups
  • Such rankings can be manipulated in a way that people are unaware of the underlying bias

2. How has Epstein's research been received?

  • Google has labeled his research as a "conspiracy theory"
  • However, Epstein continues his research and has made testimony to Congress

[02] From Media to Digital

1. What are the key arguments made in the books "News: The Politics of Illusion" and "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media"?

  • The news media act as a filter that shapes and distorts the political reality that reaches the audience
  • Mass media serve the interests of elite groups, affecting everything from public discourse to election results

2. How does the book "Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy" extend the "propaganda model" to the digital age?

  • The book argues that the internet, initially celebrated as a tool for enhancing democracy, has instead been co-opted by corporate and capitalist forces.

[03] Scapegoats 2024?

1. What are the potential scapegoats that the article suggests may be blamed for election outcomes in 2024?

  • Social media, particularly TikTok and Facebook
  • Deep fakes and AI
  • Disinformation and propaganda

2. What is the article's perspective on whether search engines and the influence of Google on elections will be mentioned in the mainstream news?

  • The article suggests that search engines and Google's influence are unlikely to receive significant attention in the mainstream news coverage of the 2024 elections.
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