Fox News anchor Bret Baier recently hosted a special report when the PRISM scandal first broke about how Google will change our lives, and in it, psychologist Robert Epstein argued that Google could surreptitiously tilt an election.
He writes in a recent research paper: “We conclude (1) that the outcomes of real elections – especially tight races – can conceivably be determined by the strategic manipulation of search engine rankings and (2) that the manipulation can be accomplished without people being aware of it. We speculate that unregulated search engines could pose a serious threat to the democratic system of government.”
Baier’s report also concluded that Google staffers built much of Obama’s technology. Ben Howe at Red State recently covered Google’s closeness to the Obama campaign here, here (complete with staffer dossiers), and here.
Claims like Dr. Epstein’s usually assume that Google manipulates results directly, perhaps adjusting its search algorithm to favor certain results. Google denies it.
But as one reader of this column points out, everybody seems to miss the other possibility: “Google doesn’t have to tinker around with algorithms to favor certain content. They know how their technology works. They can just tell the right content providers (Huffington Post, the Obama website developers, etc.) how to optimize their site content, ads, etc., to game the search results. The net effect, then, becomes the same, as if they had manipulated their algorithms, but Google can technically claim they don’t manipulate the algorithm and clear themselves of allegations of foul play … and nobody ever knows the difference.”
WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi, author the new WND book “What Went Wrong? The Inside Story of the GOP Debacle of 2012 … And How It Can Be Avoided Next Time,” recently wrote that President Obama’s plan to introduce Google-like features to federal government websites shows he understands the power of data mining.
“Obama wants to collect so much macro-data on our behavior as communicators and consumers that he can predict and control our political behavior, down to which candidate we prefer and when we are going to vote,” Corsi said.
Speaking of Google, what does the future hold for the Orwellian company whose plans include implanting a chip in our brain? The Independent UK took a look, and here’s what they learned.
And if you’re using Google Chrome, here are some helpful tips to make your experience smoother.
Knock, knock, who’s tweeting?
How do you know if a social media account is a federal account? This tool will tell you if it’s managed by federal agencies, elected officials, heads of agencies or members of the President’s Cabinet.
As you probably know, the government uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social platforms to “connect” with people and communicate official info. For example: http://twitter.com/whitehouse.
Other verified social media accounts include Blip, Disqus, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many more.
Running for mayor?
Geraldo Rivera posted a nude photo on Twitter. Of himself. No, really, he did.
It’s a “selfie” (the term used to describe a self-photo) taken by the Fox News commentator of himself standing at his bathroom mirror, his, er … man parts discreetly covered by a towel.
Rivera texted, “70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed … but at my age …)”
“Late Saturday night, Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera somehow got it into his brain that posting a half-naked, sideways selfie was a good idea. Twitter users everywhere gasped. In horror. And reached for the eye bleach,” Twitchy noted.
My favorite tweet? This of several that were chirped by Fox News colleague Greg Gutfeld:
Bestselling spy-thriller author Brad Thor weighed in, giving “props” to Geraldo:
Last week Thor made news when he tweeted his views about the Department of Justice’s hold on the gun owned by George Zimmerman, acquitted of charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. (See last week’s column.)
Thor’s latest novel “Hidden Order” tells of a secret domestic organization that operates without any accountability to the American people, hiding in the shadows pretending to be part of the United States Government.
Thor offered to purchase a new firearm for Zimmerman in a series of tweets that made clear his intentions. The offer included not only the gun of his choice but also all the ammo he wanted.
“Read this carefully, as I don’t want 2 be misunderstood: SCREW the #DOJ. If they won’t give #Zimmerman his gun back, I’ll buy him a new one,” the novelist tweeted late last Friday night.
Thor also explained why he made the offer in an interview on a Chicago TV program. Watch it here.