The new power of manipulation

The relationship between democracy and the Internet is turning sour. Both totalitarian and democratic nations are seeing an increase in online censorship and the mass surveillance of users. Disinformation and propaganda are perceptibly evolving into effective anti-democratic tools.

A major new threat [to Internet freedom] currently attracting discussion is the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME), something Robert Epstein from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology has been researching since 2012.

Epstein has proven that it’s possible to change people’s political opinions by manipulating the online search results returned by search engines.

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Deutsche Welle
Oct. 18, 2016