What Is PollyHop & Can It Manipulate A Presidential Election?

  • by: Alan Duke

PollyHop.jpgYou must have been binging on "House of Cards" Season 4 and you just got to five minutes into episode 6. So you googled "PollyHop."

While President Frank Underwood is near death waiting for a donor liver to be found to save his life, a political aide is warned about a web search engine PollyHop that the Republican presidential candidate's campaign is manipulating to control internet search results.

"Ever use it?" the consultant asks.

"No, I use Google," the aide replies.

"It's a small market share, but still it's billions of searches a month," he explains. "What if a certain candidate got more hits, was ranked higher more positive coverage favored over negative coverage, what if that candidate was William Conway?"

There's no way Frank Underwood can beat that, he concludes.

Fear of PollyHop is so urgent that the aide then stops First Lady Claire Underwood in the hospital hallway to tell her about it 13 minutes into the episode.

"They can manipulate what people search for, it gives them a huge advantage," the aide said. "It means that we lose. Conway's name, his image, they can control what people see, they can force feed it. You know what people are searching for, you know everything, their hopes, their fears even what they are thinking about when they're staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night."

PollyHop does not exist as a real search engine, however, if you go to PollyHop.Info, you can see the real life version of the political search engine. Now, return to your House of Cards binging. It gets better!

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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