ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Saturday, September 14, 2019
WND Also Defends Dubious Anti-Google Researcher
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily loves Google-hating researcher Robert Epstein for his claim that Google is biased against conservatives to the point that it likely swung votes to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

WND has long promoted the right-wing anti-Google film "The Creepy Line," which features Epstein's claims of a "Search Engine Manipulation Effect, which he described as the one of most dangerous behavioral discoveries ever. It has the power, he said, to manipulate an individual's opinion without his knowledge. WND editor Joseph Farah has called the film "one of the most important documentaries I've seen in my lifetime" since it fuels WND's victimization narrative, hyperbolically adding that it demonstrates that Google along with Facebook "represent an existential threat not just to the independent media like WND, but to the future of our country as a self-governing constitutional republic accountable to the people."

A December 2018 WND article by Art Moore touted Epstein's credentials and "peer-reviewed research" claming that, in Epstein's words, "Not only does Google have the power to shift votes and opinions on a massive scale, they actually use that power." It featured Epstein's claim that "Google heavily biased results in favor of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, possibly shifting as many as 3 million votes." The June issue of WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine similarly cited Epstein's research to accuse Google and "big tech" of staging a "stealth coup." In July, WND gushed over "Harvard-trained researcher" Epstein's congressional testimony that "Google's search results favored the Democratic candidate in 2016 and can do the same in 2020."

Of course, as we've noted, that key claim by Epstein has been discredited, in part because it was such a tiny sample size -- 95 people, 21 of whom were undecided in the 2016 election -- and partly because Epstein has never made public the full data behind it. The Washington Post pointed out that Epstein's paper doesn't explain how it determined whether a given website exhibited "pro-Hillary bias," nor did it describe how those "election-related searches" were conducted. Epstein also apparently threw out results that were unbiased based on a conspiracy theory that "perhaps Google identified our confidants through its gmail system and targeted them to receive unbiased results."

WND went on to tout how President Trump promoted Epstein's work -- and when Hillary Clinton pointed out those deficiencies, WND rushed to Epstein's defense. WND repeated Epstein's insistence that he's a "big" Hillary supporter and is "not a conservative," but Epstein never specifically denied that his results hinged on the beliefs of 21 undecided votes.

WND has also been silent about his anti-Google paranoia, which manifested itself in the above conspiracy theory  about search results sent to him from study participiants using Gmail but also in a recent Twitter rant: "People keep writing to me from gmail addresses, which allows #Google to violate my #privacy. Please stop!"

Like the MRC, WND won't report the obvious problems with Epstein's research.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 14, 2019 10:53 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« September 2019 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google