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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:36 pm    Post subject: The Cambridge Analytica Controversy Reply with quote

The Cambridge Analytica issue ...

The latest stew-pot to come out is a firm called Cambridge Analytica, the largest Political Consulting firm in the world. The video connects this to Trump and makes them villains because of that association. Obama's victories were attributed to his skilful use of social media -- that is, the targeting of messages to voters based on a catalogue of information that on them that has been inferred from their internet activities.

Cambridge Analytics strip-mined Facebook for data and used that to fashion messages for specific small groups ... they may be state of the art as social media involves more and more people and creates known networks.

These videos are done by Channel 4 in England. There are three in the series, but two is enough. They aren't very long.



Article showing both sides do it

What makes this important is to understand how the big money candidates campaign these days. In fact, it was the Hillary campaign that was depending on TV footage, small rallies -- in Detroit, her 'rally' was held in a union hall that probably could accommodate 200 or so. They inherited Obama's analytics, but things are always changing in the electronic world.

Trump, by contrast, was out filling large halls and stadiums three times a day at times. He flew all over the country in his own plane and tested his themes with live audiences. In a sense, his campaign was a throwback to Harry Truman's whistle-stop campaign.

What the analytics leads to is elected officials who don't really have the "feel" of the people. Trump now has a base like no other in American politics. It's an enduring bond compared to being 'swayed' temporarily.

We have to realize that this is where it has come to. To the extent that we are 'plugged into' the electronic culture, these people know about us, and can use that information to manipulate us. This case seems particularly bad because it's about poltiics. But certainly they are doing it to us commercially as well.

Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to make the point that this isn't a partisan tool. These services are for sale on an open market. What is hard to accept is that, at least in one of its facets, Facebook is a surveillance tool. Not so much in the sense that someone with discretionary power is watching you now -- but in the sense that they have a lot of information about your life. They claim to know the individual better than (s)he knows her/himself.

They all use it. They can now tailor a message for groups of individuals that maximize the impact of their messages, and they can deliver it to your smartphone. It's an existential condition of modern politics. What's scary is it is developing so fast.

What's scarier is that it has so many other applications.

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source
By Andy Blatchford — The Canadian Press — Mar 21 2018

OTTAWA — The Canadian data scientist who admitted to helping political parties score electoral wins by exploiting the private information of millions of Facebook users also oversaw a short-lived pilot project for the federal Liberals shortly after the 2015 election, The Canadian Press has learned.

Christopher Wylie came forward in recent days with accusations that a voter-profiling company improperly harvested Facebook data from some 50 million users in order to help seal victories for the Trump campaign and in the U.K.'s Brexit referendum.

Wylie has insisted in interviews that he not only played a pivotal role in developing the data-mining technique, he also helped establish Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the heart of the controversy that was first revealed by The Guardian newspaper and the New York Times.

In January 2016, months before U.S. President Donald Trump’s win, Wylie pitched his services to the Liberal caucus research office, said a Liberal parliamentary source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details of a private meeting.

Even before the meeting, Wylie had experience working at the highest levels of the party.

From 2007 to 2009, he worked in the office of the Liberal leader, when the party was helmed by Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. He was also a member of the party’s youth commission.

Following the meeting, the Liberals signed a contract with Wylie in 2016 and he launched a pilot project, the source confirmed. The source would not provide further details on the nature of the contract or its duration, saying only that Wylie’s services were focused on “information management.”

After seeing what Wylie had to offer, the party chose not to proceed further with the project, said the source, who added that it’s not uncommon for political parties to try out the services of contractors for brief periods of time.

The contract was awarded in accordance with all the procurement rules, and at no time did Wylie have access to anyone's personal data, the source added.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ex-Liberal Party strategist had role with firms at centre of data furor
A federal Liberal Party strategist in Victoria once described himself as “the head of operations for the SCL Group,” a company associated with a consultancy now at the centre of a global controversy over the misuse of Facebook data.

Ray Larson is also an associate of Christopher Wylie, who alleged late last week that a company he spun out of the SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica, surreptitiously obtained personal information on 50 million users of the social-media giant.

Mr. Wylie has said he joined SCL Group, which involves several distinct and interrelated corporations, before helping create Cambridge Analytica.

This week, opposition MPs seized on Mr. Wylie’s ties to the federal Liberal Party after news reports that said the 28-year-old former volunteer and researcher signed a $100,000 contract in 2016 to do social-media consulting for the party.

Insiders in the federal Liberal Party in British Columbia describe Mr. Larson as an early adopter of modern-day campaigning techniques that are believed to have helped the Liberals form a majority government.

Parliamentarians and privacy commissioners are taking a keen interest in the activities of Cambridge Analytica and the SCL Group and whether they have any ties to Canada.

Mr. Larson is not known to have been involved with Cambridge Analytica. But he did once tout his work for SCL, according to a December, 2014, statement that The Globe and Mail found on a cached version of Mr. Larson’s website.

“My name is Ray Larson. I’m the Secretary for the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. (LPCBC), a microtargeting expert, political strategist, the Head of the Operations for the SCL Group,” it reads.

They are acting surprised. Who hasn't known that, on one facet Facebook is a data collection tool for advertisers and others? It has well known Orwellian features with regard to surveillance' and privacy because it stores the data and sells it. Or gives it away to 'researchers'.

This wasn't a mistake. This is the system working as it should. The more sinister implications aren't even being discussed.

This is also not why the Liberals won the election. It's because Twinkletoes managed to attract half a million of the food court crowd to the polls.
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The Cambridge Analytica Controversy

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