Beware of Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME)

in #educationlast year

Hey guys here is a quick "what is" post. Today's topic...Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME). I will be using Wikipedia as a source. You can click on the link below to learn more. Now lets get to it...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_manipulation_effect

"The Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) is the change in consumer preferences from manipulations of search results by search engine providers. SEME is one of the largest behavioral effects ever discovered. This includes voting preferences. A 2015 study indicated that such manipulations could shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more and up to 80 percent in some demographics.

The study estimated that this could change the outcome of upwards of 25 percent of national elections worldwide.

On the other hand, Google denies secretly re-ranking search results to manipulate user sentiment, or tweaking ranking specially for elections or political candidates."

This ultimately means that scenarios can be created by search engines, and that the results of these search engines can affect how people react after concluding their "research." Just by manipulating the search result rankings, search engines could substantially increase support for one candidate over another, or even one product/service over another.

"Research suggested that search rankings impact virtually all issues on which people are initially undecided around the world. Search results that favour one point of view tip the opinions of those who are undecided on an issue. In another experiment, biased search results shifted people’s opinions about the value of fracking by 33.9 per cent."

In Europe, regulators accused Google of manipulating its search engine results to favor its own services, even though competitive services would otherwise have ranked higher. "Google executives Larry Page and Marissa Mayer, among others, privately advocated for favoring Google’s own services, even if its algorithms deemed that information less relevant or useful. Google acknowledges adjusting its algorithm 600 times a year, but does not disclose the substance of its changes."

"In April 2015, Hillary Clinton hired Stephanie Hannon from Google to be her chief technology officer. In 2015 Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google's holding company started a company – The Groundwork – for the specific purpose of electing Clinton. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, called Google her ‘secret weapon’. Researchers estimated that Google could help her win the nomination and could deliver between 2.6 and 10.4 million general election votes to Clinton via SEME. No evidence documents any such effort, although since search results are ephemeral, evidence could only come via a Google whistleblower or an external hacker.

On June 9, 2016, SourceFed alleged that Google manipulated its searches in favor of Clinton because the recommended searches for her are different than the recommended searches to both Yahoo and Bing and yet the searches for both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are identical to both Yahoo and Bing. When 'Hillary Clinton Ind' was entered in the search bar, Google Autocomplete suggested 'Hillary Clinton Indiana', while the other vendors suggested 'Hillary Clinton indictment'. Furthermore, SourceFed placed the recommended searches for Clinton on Google Trends and observed that the Google suggestion was searched less than the suggestion from the other vendors."

Pretty scary stuff if you ask me. We are being manipulated in a very sly and sneaky way. It makes sense if you think about it. The term "Google it" is used ubiquitously in everyday conversation similar to printing a copy of paper by saying "Xerox it." How many people have Google set as their main browser? The same goes for Facebook. They control the algorithms on the news feed. They can manipulate what you see and do not see. Recently, Facebook has really been coming down on "Conservative" related articles. Yet, those same standards do not seem to apply for "left/liberal" leaning agendas. This is a big problem of centralization. When you combine social media, search engines, and main stream media to push one agenda, we are now learning that via SEME, you can help manipulate the results to lean in your favor. That is why I am posting this...I want to inform you here on Hive so that you do not fall for these manipulations. Become aware and spread the word.

Well there you have it for now. Let me know what you think. Have you ever heard of SEME before? Do you think it will play a vital role in the future? Do you still use Google or Facebook? I personally use https://duckduckgo.com/ for my search engine and I love it. Duckduckgo emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. This is also why I am a proponent for a decentralized Internet, decentralized social media platform, blockchain technology, and crypto currencies. Don't fall for the centralists' and oligarch's tricks. Keep educating yourself. Until next time...