Could Media Sway An Election? It Did in 1876, Research Psychologist Says

Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, argues that Google could sway an election simply by altering the algorithms of positive and negative news stories shown to undecided voters voters before an election,

It has happened before, he notes. In 1876, Western Union attempted “to swing the presidential election towards its favored candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes. The election was the closest in U.S. history, and Western Union used its telegraph network monopoly and exclusive carriage contract with the Associated Press to ensure that only positive stories about Hayes made it on the wire. Hayes ultimately won by a hair.”

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