Robert Epstein

in #vyblast year

One Search At A Time: How Google Uses Ephemeral Experiences To Control Thinking and Behavior - Response

Robert Epstein is a professor with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has degrees in psychology and is well known in the field. He is certainly a public figure and is well known for his involvement in many organizations, such as non-profits. His competency tests are very widely known and used as well. He has made a multitude of Behavioral Science and Internet Studies.

This talk by Dr. Epstein was very informative. It was interesting that many people including myself are using Google products even without necessarily knowing that they are using Google products. The business practices of Google were expanded upon in great detail, and the details of these business practices are very scary. It is interesting to think that when you use a product that is touted as “free,” often you have become the product without realizing it.

Interestingly, it was unexpected to me that Google is generally acquiring companies around once a week. This is a very foreboding number to someone who is wary of data collection. This points to more future experiences of people using Google without “using Google.” Many examples were given of people who are feeding Google a steady stream of marketable advertising data, without even knowing it, often because Google does not always outright say that it owns a particular company. “Fitbit” is a great example of this.

Search results might be said to be Google’s “big thing.” Biased search results were shown to be able to shift a significant number of votes in massive elections, all without knowledge of the human race. Ephemeral experiences are almost constantly used to change people’s views at Google. The example of perception change attempts in relation to Trump’s travel ban was a very interesting revelation. People inside the company were undeniably using these tactics to shift perception, with no trace. It was shown that people cannot resist bias even if they can see the bias as is popularly said. It was also shown that Moderate Republicans are the most susceptible to this bias.

The massive and multiple manipulation tools implemented by Google in the form of engines, search results, youtube searches, and more could have and almost certainly have shifted many political and world events throughout recent history. Millions of ephemeral experiences have been recorded showing million of perceptions that Google could have or did change. Who knows what would have been different without this massive search engine interference?

Public field tests sent to Google resulted in Google turning off bias in certain areas. This is at least minimal proof that Google knows what it is doing and can change this easily. Google seems to have amassed a large amount of power. Owners might almost think of themselves as Gods. Obviously, people had to come up with a way to resist these privacy violations. It seems that the best way to fight their surveillance is with our own surveillance. If they know that an independent organization is watching them, they might steer away from interfering with our personal freedoms.