Google is a huge player in the political scene. Have you ever wondered why the internet seems to play such a large role in elections? It turns out search engines like Google can influence people’s decisions about politics.
Some people actually believe that media doesn’t have control over them. While it may not be intentional on the end of the media, its effects on popular opinion are proven.
This is an interesting day for some people. Today they will learn that the media does, in fact, influence your thinking in an election. Now, calm down! It’s good to know things like this. Maybe with information like this you can learn to think in a different way.
“One group saw positive articles about one candidate first; the other saw positive articles about the other candidate. (A control group saw a random assortment.) The result: Whichever side people saw the positive results for, they were more likely to vote for—by more than 48 percent.” (Wired.com, 2015)
That effect is called VMP, or “vote manipulation power”. The results of this study show that varying demographics responded to the Google search results with VMP ranging from 24% to 72%. All elections in USA’s history have come down to a margin of under 8% between winning and losing. When considering this fact, it seems like the media could indeed control the outcome of an election.
“The fact that media, including whatever search and social deliver, can affect decision-making isn’t exactly news. The “Fox News Effect” says that towns that got the conservative-leaning cable channel tended to become more conservative in their voting in the 2000 election. A well-known effect called recency means that people make decisions based on the last thing they heard. Placement on a list also has a known effect. “(Wired.com, 2015)
In order to counter these things you must stop trusting others to tell you what to believe about politics. The power of the internet to spread knowledge is great. However it can be used incorrectly. If you trust sources that do not verify their data with citations or sources, you are at risk of being lied to. Always verify what you hear before you ingrain it into your belief system. Lastly, remember this: don’t trust information just because of the source’s brand name. If it has no citations, take it with a grain of salt.