By Corinne Murdock |
Editor’s Note: Since our story published, search results for Kari Lake now show her campaign website on Google’s first page.
Google appears to be skewing search results of Arizona’s gubernatorial candidates to favor the Democratic candidates over the Republicans. AZ Free News monitored search results over the past week and discovered indications of a consistent bias for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and secretary of state candidate Adrian Fontes, over their respective Republican opponents Kari Lake and Mark Finchem.
It’s likely the latest in Google’s history of attempting to sway election outcomes. The Big Tech giant historically referred to their technique of manipulating search results as “ephemeral experiences.” Google has admitted to manufacturing this information in order to change people’s attitudes and behavior concerning politics.
A search of “Katie Hobbs” brings up Hobbs’ website as the first result, followed by top news portraying Hobbs favorably. A sample of articles featured over the weekend: an MSNBC interview that she’s the sane candidate, a Fox News report that she has “Republicans” campaigning for her, a KTAR report that former President Barack Obama will stump for her and Senator Mark Kelly, and an Insider report on Fox News mistakenly screening mock election results of a Hobbs victory.
After those articles, it’s Hobbs’ secretary of state website, her Twitter feed, her Wikipedia page, an endorsement by pro-abortion group Emily’s List, her Ballotpedia, her Facebook, and various coverage of the burglary of her campaign office.
Then there’s the results of a search on “Kari Lake.” Her campaign website doesn’t appear on any of the first 11 search result pages, and doesn’t appear even when omitted results are included. Lake’s website appears sporadically via ads, alongside which there are usually ads asking voters to donate to Hobbs.
Search results for Lake yield a Wikipedia page first, followed by top news portraying Lake unfavorably. Here were some of the articles featured over the weekend: multiple outlets’ coverage of “Saturday Night Live” mocking Lake and other Trump-backed candidates, multiple outlets’ reports on former congresswoman Liz Cheney’s millions and latest ad to defeat Lake, an Arizona Republic report detailing Attorney General Mark Brnovich accusing Lake of running a “giant grift,” and a Politico report on Lake using “MAGA star power.” After those articles, it’s Lake’s Ballotpedia, her Twitter feed, several YouTube videos, a Washington Post article, her Instagram feed, and her Facebook page.
Something similar occurs when voters look up the secretary of state candidates. A search for “Mark Finchem” yields his state legislator profile first, not his website, followed by his Wikipedia page and a collection of “top stories” characterizing Finchem as an “election denier” and target of Cheney’s PAC. Whereas a search for “Adrian Fontes” yields his campaign website first, followed by his Ballotpedia profile, endorsements, social media profiles, and two individual links to news coverage detailing Fontes’ campaign platform. Absent from the first page of results are “top stories” portraying Fontes in any negative light.
The same can’t be said for other races. Google search results for attorney general candidates Abraham Hamadeh (R) and Kris Mayes (D) yield their websites first, followed by Ballotpedia and social media accounts — no top news stories aggregated near the top.
The same is true for the search results for Maricopa County attorney, superintendent, treasurer, and state legislative candidates. U.S. House and Senate races don’t reflect that bias, either.
Google has a history of political favoritism of the left. Evidence of their role in elections became evident following the 2016 presidential election.
In last Thursday’s episode of Fox News “Tucker Carlson Today,” acclaimed psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein said that Google modifies its search results to influence voters. That’s in addition to the fact that Google is one of the top surveillance entities in the world.
Epstein, a Biden voter, said that his research confirmed whistleblower testimonies of Google’s election influence. Throughout the 2016 election, Epstein monitored Google activity using 1,735 voters across four swing states. In all, Epstein gleaned around 1.5 million ephemeral experiences across not only Google, but Bing, YouTube, and Facebook.
Epstein asserted that the biggest issue in elections wasn’t fraud but the Big Tech companies’ unchecked influence.
“I was nauseated that our data were [sic] telling us that this election was in the hands of private companies, Google in particular. Literally, that there is no more democracy, there is no more free and fair election, it’s just an illusion,” stated Epstein.
Epstein said that Google and YouTube influenced search results to favor far-left ideology. He estimated that Google’s influence in search results affected around 6 million votes in 2020.
“What we found was extreme liberal bias on Google — which is the only real search engine that counts — and hardly any bias on Bing and Yahoo,” said Epstein.
Arizona doesn’t appear to be the top priority for the Big Tech giant this year, despite evidence of their handiwork in the gubernatorial and secretary of state races. According to Epstein’s research, Google’s current primary focus is Wisconsin.
Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee (RNC) sued Google over claims of censorship. The RNC provided research indicating that the Big Tech giant sends its campaign emails to spam folders automatically to suppress its fundraising and get-out-the-vote messages.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.