Internet search engines may be influencing elections - Science /AAAS

"We anticipate the search engine to become creating smart choices," Epstein says. Your significant taste size--and extra details supplied by users--allowed your researchers in order to pinpoint that demographics were the majority of susceptible to search results manipulation: Divorcees, Republicans, and also subjects that reported low familiarity using the candidates were among the easiest teams to always be able to influence, whereas participants who possess been better informed, married, or even reported a yearly household earnings among $40,000 and also $50,000 were harder for you to sway. Extremely few topics noticed they were becoming manipulated, but people who do had been really more inclined in order to vote within collection using the biased results. He in addition points out the Internet mogul will benefit more through certain election outcomes than others.

And in accordance with Epstein, Google is very aware both with the energy it wields, too because the study his team is doing: Once the team recruited volunteers in the Web in the 2nd experiment, a pair of of the IP addresses came from Google's head office, he says.

A few percentage points here where there might appear meager, but the authors explain that elections in many cases are won by simply margins small in comparison to 1%. Your researchers wished to determine they could influence that the particular Californians could have voted pertaining to within the 2010 election ... the search results does its job.'" 

In their particular 1st experiment, Epstein as well as colleagues recruited 3 groups of 102 volunteers within San Diego, California, have been generally representative of the U.S. In the actual event that 80% regarding qualified voters get Web access along with 10% of these are usually undecided, the particular search results impact could persuade yet another 25% involving those undecided in order to vote for any target candidate, your team studies online this week in the Proceedings with the National Academy involving Sciences. with regard to prime minister involving Australia.. This may be according to factors similar to "relevance" and "credibility" (terms that are closely guarded by developers with Google along together with other main research engines). Organic search algorithms already in position naturally put 1 candidate's title higher around the record compared to others. With Regard To example, within the the majority of intense scenario, a subject would see 15 webpages with details about Gillard's platform along with goals accompanied by 15 comparable most existing listings for Abbott.

In a new third experiment, the actual team tested its hypothesis in a real, ongoing election: the actual 2014 general election throughout India. moderate Republicans had been one in the most susceptible of just about any group: The Actual manipulated search results elevated the particular quantity of undecided voters that mentioned that they would select the favored candidate through 80%.

"In the two-person race, a new candidate can only count upon getting 50 % of your uncommitted votes, that is worthless. Yet what surprised researchers has been the real difference these rankings made: Biased serp's increased the number of undecided voters picking out the favored candidate simply by 48% in comparison with a control team which noticed an equal mix involving both candidates all through your list. voting population. We desperately have to have a public conversation in regards to always be able to the role regarding these systems in the democratic processes."

Presumably Google isn't intentionally tweaking its algorithms to end up being able to favor particular presidential candidates, but Epstein says it would extremely challenging to tell if it were. voting population in terms of age, race, political affiliation, and other traits. Precisely what they did not really know was the search engine ended up rigged for you to display the outcomes throughout an investment biased toward 1 candidate or the other. Along With when again, understanding of your manipulation enhanced the effect.

"What we're referring to here can end up being a means of thoughts control on the enormous scale which there is no precedent for within human history." that sounds hyperbolic, but Robert Epstein says it is actually not an exaggeration. "It's consequently large in which it's fairly dangerous."

In a new 2nd experiment, the scientists repeated the first test on 2100 contributors recruited online through Amazon's labor crowdsourcing website Mechanical Turk.

But perhaps the most relating to aspect of the findings is that a internet search engine doesn't even must intentionally manipulate your order associated with most present listings for this effect for you to manifest. "I feel that it does pose a threat towards the legitimacy with the democracy that we have. Using the actual help of biased research rankings, a candidate might be able to get 90% with the uncommitted votes [in select demographics]," Epstein explains.

As predicted, subjects spent far additional time reading Net pages near the top the particular list. Epstein, a research psychologist in the American Institute regarding Behavioral research in Vista, California, features found that the bigger any politician ranks on a webpage of Internet search results, the more likely you may be to be able to vote pertaining to them.

"I have a great deal of faith within the methods they've used, and I think it can be a extremely rigorously conducted study," says Nicholas Diakopoulos, some type regarding computer scientist at the College of Maryland, University Park, whom had not been involved in the research. after recruiting any trial involving 2150 undecided Indian voters, the particular researchers repeated the actual original experiment, replacing your Australian candidates using the 3 Indian politicians who were actually running at the time. but merely changing which candidate appeared higher within the outcomes nevertheless increased the quantity of undecided Indian voters who does vote for that will candidate simply by 12% or much more compared along with controls. Your outcomes of the real-world trial were slightly less dramatic--an outcome which researchers attribute for you to voters' higher familiarity with the candidates. most in the Californians knew little regarding both candidate ahead associated with the test began, so the experiment was their just real exposure to always be able to Australian politics. "I don't believe that they've overstated his or her claims."

"It's simple to point your finger at the algorithm since it's this supposedly inert thing, however there are the large quantity of individuals powering your algorithm," Diakopoulos says. "Without just about any intervention simply by anyone operating in Google, this means that will Google's algorithm may be identifying the actual outcome associated with near elections round the world."

So that they built a fake search results called Kadoodle that returned a new list of 30 web sites for that finalist candidates, 15 with regard to Tony Abbott and 15 pertaining to Julia Gillard. Which type regarding swing would figure out your election outcome, so long as the expected acquire margin was 2% or less. The Particular topics had been also chosen to be representative of the U.S. "What they're declaring is, 'Well yes, I start to see the bias and that's telling me ... "This is a huge effect," Epstein says. so your public is being influenced through the search engine manipulation effect, Epstein says


Bank of the West Classic 2015: Wednesday Tennis Scores, Results, Draw Schedule - Bleacher Report

Bank of the West Classic 2015: Wednesday Tennis Scores, Results, Draw Schedule

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

The 2015 Bank of the West Classic completed its third day of action by closing out the first round of the doubles tournament and starting the second round of the singles side. 

A member of a doubles champion last year, Carla Suarez Navarro entered the Bank of the West Classic attempting to advance deeper into the competition as the third overall seed in the singles tournament. 

The tournament's No. 6 seed, Andrea Petkovic, was also in action against fellow German Mona Barthel. 

Here is a look at Wednesday's results and action with Thursday's upcoming schedule.

Bank of the West Classic 2015: Wednesday Results Mona Barthel

Andrea Petkovic

5-7, 6-2, 7-6

Alison Riske

Carla Suarez Navarro

6-4, 6-4

Mona Barthel, Sabine Lisicki

Raquel Kops-Jones, Maria Sanchez

6-3, 7-6

Chin-Wei Chan, Darija Jurak

Vitalia Diatchenko, Anna Tatishvili

6-4, 7-5

Ajla Tomljanovic

Madison Keys

1-6, 6-4, 6-1

Elina Svitolina

Nicole Gibbs

6-3, 7-6

Bank of the West Classic 2015: Thursday Schedule Player


Time (ET)

Angelique Kerber

Ana Konjuh

2 p.m.

Misaki Doi

Agnieszka Radwanska

Not before 4 p.m.

Mona Barthel, Sabine Lisicki

Yi-Fan Xu, Saisai Zheng


Karolina Pliskova

Kimiko Date-Krumm


Asia Muhammad, Ajla Tomljanovic

Gabriela Dabrowski, Alicja Rosolska

Not before 5 p.m.

Caroline Wozniacki

Varvara Lepchenko

Not before 10 p.m.

Hao Ching-Chan, Yung-Jan Chan

Kateryna Bondarenko, Tatjana Maria


Two of the field's best seeds playing in the singles tournament Wednesday were the victims of upsets, as Navarro and Petkovic both went crashing out of the competition. 

Navarro, ranked 10th in the world, was defeated by American Alison Riske in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. It's the first time this season Riske has beaten an opponent ranked in the WTA's top 10. The WTA took a look at her match-winner:

Before Navarro went down, the day's other seeded player, Petkovic, had a nice start. She won her first set over Barthel, 7-5, but her fellow countrywoman roared back to take the next two, 6-2, 7-6. 

The WTA showed Barthel's winner in the third-set tiebreak:

But Barthel was not done after her upset victory. She was off to join teammate Sabine Lisicki, who lost her singles match Tuesday night, in the doubles tournament. 

There was no need for dramatics in this match for Barthel, as she and Lisicki disposed of American tandem Raquel Kops-Jones and Maria Sanchez in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6.

Barthel won't get much time off. She and Lisicki will be at it again Thursday afternoon to take on Yi-Fan Xu and Saisai Zheng. 

One of the final matches of the night saw yet another seeded player go down when seventh-ranked Madison Keys fell to Ajla Tomljanovic, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.

At least No. 8 seed Elina Svitolina took care of business in straight sets against Nicole Gibbs in the nightcap, 6-3, 7-6.

Some of the tournament's best players, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki, begin their tournaments after receiving byes in the first round due to their top seeding. Radwanska takes on Misaki Doi, while Wozniacki will face Varvara Lepchenko.

"Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Too Much Good Luck," by Ellen Potter - Bangor Daily News

... Aug. 12. Perhaps my dogs whenever we went in there, these people would acquire very quiet," Potter stated in the magical spot. Aug. ... 14. "The fairies just arrived around the scene regarding some thing I held sensing in these woods.

The Piper Green publications are generally offered at booksellers, such as Sherman's different locations along with Your Briar Patch about Central Street inside Bangor. Aug. 15 for a book signing along with fairy house workshop, as well.

When the girl transferred to Maine around three years ago, that will idea came collectively together with the woman's fascination with island life.

"What impressed me the most has been how strong the community has been [on Maine's islands]," Potter said. Any e-book signing along with fairy tree workshop furthermore will be planned with regard to the Briar Patch, coming from two to always be able to three p.m. the neighborhood was really upset. These People took the path which was different from others.

Recommended for visitors inside grades 2 by means of four, the particular chapter publications have approximately one hundred pages each and consequently are filled up with imaginative illustrations by artist Qin Leng.

As for your fairy tree? "I wish I had one within my front yard," Potter said.

"A large quantity of my vision regarding Peek-A-Boo Island had been drawn really loosely on Swan's Island," Potter said.

"Piper Green and the Fairy Tree" as well as "Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: An Excessive amount Of Great Luck" by Ellen Potter hit stores Aug. Aug. "It just seemed like a method of lifestyle that you do not discover really often. the childhood of those kids about the island was only type of dreamy. Based around the tree her friend shared using her about, Potter added the fairy element to the story providing any magical reason the actual tree brings a lot to always be able to Piper's existence as the girl struggles using the changes.

"If an individual needed something within the tree, you merely took it with the caveat anyone had to put some thing inside its place," Potter, whom mentioned the lady ended up being taken by simply the thought of your give along with consider of the hole, said.

Piper Green is a quirky young girl who lives on the Maine island, rides the lobster boat to college and, whenever we meet her, wears monkey earmuffs -- even though it's heat out. they get so far more freedom for you to roam."

Potter stated the thought for that Piper Green series originated in "two different items that type of collided." First, a friend had shared together with her any story about a tree in their neighborhood which was taken down by your ex town. 10 for a book signing and fairy house workshop. 4. ... Then one man carved a hole inside the stump the ones began leaving things there.

While researching on the girl behalf books, Potter mentioned she invested time on Swan's Island as well as Vinalhaven, visiting schools, talking to kids along with more.

"This entire state has a very evocative feel pertaining to writers.

She furthermore may always be the major character in 2 new, imaginative children's books created by a Castine author.

"This extraordinary emerald green moss most over. Potter includes a number of e-book signings coming up. There's such a long good popularity for writers within this state," Potter said.

Potter mentioned the thought to show the particular tree in to a fairy tree originated from a new walk inside the woods using your ex three big dogs. The Girl will be signing books with Sherman's Publications within Camden from one p.m. The Particular publications discover distinct moments in the second-grader's life, from coming to terms together with the girl older brother going to secondary school off-island as for you to the happens if this seems your ex luck can be as well good.

The Fairy Tree within the book's title is definitely an essential part of the stories. she will probably be at Witherle Library within Castine with 2 p.m. These People belonged in order to her older brother, Erik.. Potter is likely to be from Jesup Library in Bar Harbor from 10:30 a.m


John Candy's Daughter Opens Up About Following in Her Late Father's Comedy ... - Entertainment Tonight

When John Candy died in 1994, the world lost one of the most brilliant comedic minds.

Now, over two decades later, Second City Toronto, the legendary improv and sketch comedy venue, is paying tribute to the Planes, Trains and Automobiles star with the unveiling of the new John Candy Box Theatre.

The star's daughter, Jen Candy, who was only 14 when he died from a heart attack while filming the comedy Wagons East!, recently sat down with ET Canada during Second City's grand unveiling, and she shared memories of her father.

PHOTOS: Stars We've Lost In Recent Years

"He was your everyday kind of guy and a great dad and very lovable," Jen said. "Very much similar to characters that he was on film."

Like her dad, Jen is also a comedian who has been doing stand-up for some time. However, she admits that her father's legacy is a lot to live up to.

"[My dad] is a pretty big icon to kind of follow" Jen said, laughing. "So I've given up on that train of going, 'I want to be just like you,' because I will never be just like him."

WATCH: John Candy's Son Shares Loving Memories of His Late Father

Jen's brother, Chris Candy, also seems to have gotten his dad's love for performing and is working as an actor in Canada. Last year, on the 20th anniversary of his father's death, Chris spoke with ET Canada about his dad.

Check out the video below to hear what Chris had to say about his father's brilliant legacy.




Roger Federer's final golden opportunity - ESPN

Peter Bodo, Tennis

ClosePeter Bodo has been covering tennis for over 35 years, mostly recently for ESPN. He is a former WTA Writer of the Year and the author of numerous books, including the classic The Courts of Babylon and the New York Times bestseller (with Pete Sampras), A Champion's Mind. His new book on the 1975 Wimbledon final between Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors will be out in June of 2015.

Roger Federer's long-standing decision to play full time on tour until at least the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro appears to be a signature combination of precise and sensible reasoning with dazzling ambition and breathtaking optimism.

After all, Federer was fast approaching 30 years of age when he first said he hoped to play a starring role in Rio. He had just won his 17th major at the 2012 Wimbledon championships, his first major in 2½ years. It was a time considered by many to be the twilight of his career, a glorious supernova after which Federer would gracefully fade. It would be the classy, Federer-esque thing to do. It was logical -- but not Rogical.

When he declared his intentions, some scratched their heads: "What, this guy wants to play full time for four more years?" Even some of his devout fans were skeptical he could last. After all, Federer will be deep into his 17th year on tour during the Brazil games. He could well arrive in Rio treading water somewhere deep in the rankings pool -- if he even lasted that long.

Roger Federer came up short against Andy Murray in 2012, settling for the silver medal. Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

It may turn out that way yet, but not based on the evidence at hand. Federer has cemented his position as No. 2 in the world. He's the recent Wimbledon finalist, where he joined Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and surprise semifinalist Richard Gasquet as the class of the field. Federer is healthy, fit, happy and ... playing the best tennis of his life.

And there's this: Federer still has some Olympic scores to settle. First on the list is adding the checkmark in the last remaining box on a great champion's to-do list: a singles gold medal.

Federer caught a nice break when the organizers of the Rio games decided to host the tennis event on hard courts rather than the most ubiquitous surface in Brazil, clay. Predictably, Rafael Nadal wasn't entirely pleased with this decision, given the overwhelming preference for clay in South America. He said at a media conference during the Rio ATP 500 (ironically, it's a clay-court event): "I am surprised that in a country which has clay specialists the Olympics are going to be played on hard court."

Terse enough?

Although Nadal advocates detected conspiracy on behalf of the hard-court maestro Federer, the larger issue is that the Olympic games will take place two weeks before the US Open. There seemed to be no reasonable choice but to host the games on the same surface that the players will find so soon thereafter at Flushing Meadows.

The surface may be a boon to Federer, but his own Olympics singles history will not necessarily be a confidence-booster.

Federer had just turned 19 in 2000 shortly before his first Olympics appearance at the Sydney games, but he already had a ranking of No. 32. Nevertheless, he lost the bronze-medal match to a player whose ranking was nearly double his own, France's No. 62, Arnaud DiPasquale. The winner did not go on to win 17 Grand Slam titles, but he's got some tale to tell his grandkids.

In Athens in 2004, Federer was the top seed and No. 1 in the world. He cruised past Nikolay Davydenko in the first round but was upset in the second round to a tall Czech ranked No. 79 in the world -- an up-and-coming youngster named Tomas Berdych. In 2008, in Beijing, Federer was again No. 1, but he was simply blasted off the court in the quarterfinals by seventh-ranked James Blake.

His consolation prize for what amounted to roughly a decade of frustrated Olympic ambitions? A doubles gold medal he earned in yoke with Stan Wawrinka seven years ago.

The most bitter pill yet was forced down Federer's throat in 2012 in London. Softened up by the stiff resistance Juan Martin del Potro had offered in the semifinals (Federer won it at great cost, 19-17 in the third), Federer was beaten in three tough sets by local hero Andy Murray, who until then was a chronic major final washout. The aftertaste of that loss was alleviated only by the fact that just weeks earlier, Federer had won Wimbledon on the same Centre Court at the All-England Club against Murray.

Still, Federer finally had a singles medal to go with his doubles gold.

Whatever else is in play a year from now in Rio, it's hard to imagine Federer will have any more chances at singles gold. He'll be dealing with more pressure than some of the other competitors in an event that already has many of the same anxiety-invoking elements as Davis Cup, the other high-profile international tennis competition.

Roger Federer has been going for gold since his first Olympic Games in 2000. Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images

Much like Davis Cup, Olympic tennis is partly about striking a blow for national pride rather than mere personal accomplishment. The opportunity -- or burden -- affects people in different ways at different times. But one thing is obvious: Davis Cup and Olympic tennis results are often unpredictable. All bets are off when it comes to these non-tour events. These are the times when a journeyman who can't keep pace with the elites on a day-in, day-out basis gets his chance to strike a resounding blow -- one that can transform him overnight into a national hero.

Just ask Nicolas Massu, the Chilean whose career-high ranking was No. 9 but who won Olympic gold in singles in Athens in 2004.

When tennis first rejoined the five-ring family in 1988 (after a hiatus of more than 60 years), the organizers (the ITF, answering to the IOC) had one significant problem: Unlike, say, boxing or marathon running, tennis was dominated by a handful of countries, led by the U.S.

In order to ensure an adequately broad representation in the tennis draws, the organizers came up with a quota system, which is why the first few Olympic singles draws of 64 (no byes) contained so many unfamiliar names. The effect was somewhat surreal, but it was anxiety-inducing for established players. That contributed to the form-busting results.

The first two men's gold medalists were Miloslav Mecir of (then) Czechoslovakia in 1988 in Seoul, followed by Marc Rosset of Switzerland in Barcelona. Only Mecir would go on to play (and lose) in a Grand Slam final, and that was just once.

The beaten finalists? Mecir defeated Tim Mayotte of the USA. Rosset took out Jordi Arrese of Spain.

The global growth of the game and the concomitant decline of U.S. tennis, along with the fine-tuning of the qualification procedure and format (the best-of-five format was dropped after Barcelona), have helped make Olympic tennis a little more like a typical ATP Tour event. But the overarching vibe is different, and the impact is has on a player's ability to perform is hard to assess.

One thing is certain, though: Federer's decision to plug away through Rio isn't based merely on cold, hard ambition. As he said in a media conference as the London Olympics got underway in 2012:

The chance to play for Olympic gold again is "a dream come true, I would say, because I definitely get inspired by the 1992 victory by Marc Rosset. He won the Olympics. That was huge news in Switzerland. I definitely was inspired by that.

"So when I got to be part of the Sydney Olympics 12 years ago, I stayed in the village. I was there for over two weeks. I had the best time following sports, being there with the athletes, playing so well. I almost overachieved in that tournament."

"Almost" is the operative word there. For it was DiPasquale who walked away with an Olympic medal. Federer didn't exactly walk away empty-handed, though. Sydney is where he firmed up his relationship with the young Swiss WTA pro who would become his wife, Mirka Vavrinec.

Federer is still living that dream, the way he was still living it London. It goes on partly despite the fact that he has a gold medal now, as well as a silver. You might think that would be enough for one man, but he's still got his heart set on another gold, and this time the one in doubles won't do.

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