Do Search Engine Rankings Influence How People Will Vote?
Do Internet search engines influence elections? Holy cow, this just gets scarier and scarier. “In a third experiment, the team tested its hypothesis in a real, ongoing election: the 2014 general election in India. After recruiting a sample of 2150 undecided Indian voters, the researchers repeated the original experiment, replacing the Australian candidates with the three Indian politicians who were actually running at the time. The results of the real world trial were slightly less dramatic—an outcome that researchers attribute to voters’ higher familiarity with the candidates. But merely changing which candidate appeared higher in the results still increased the number of undecided Indian voters who would vote for that candidate by 12% or more compared with controls. And once again, awareness of the manipulation enhanced the effect.” You do not want to hear my rant on ballot access. But man oh man, do I have a rant on ballot access and non-transparent search and social media algorithms.