Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

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phallus dei
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Edited May 14, 2017, 16:31
May 14, 2017, 16:30
thesweetcheat wrote:

I don't think the articles persuasively show that Trump meddled in the Brexit election, or that the UK's democracy has become "hijacked" (as the title of the first article suggests).

The articles are about how two data mining firms, Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ, devised strategies to target voters for the Leave Campaign. I don't know the specifics of British laws; but certainly in America hiring outside firms to plot election strategies is common.

Steve Bannon used to be on the board of Cambridge Analytica. In August 2016 he stepped down to become chair of the Trump campaign.

At the time of working on the Brexit campaign, Cambridge Analytica had been providing data mining services for the Ted Cruz campaign in the US; when that fizzled out, it started to work for the Trump campaign in summer 2016 (the same time Bannon joined).

Maybe Bannon deserves some of the credit / or the blame for the UK referendum result, but I don't see how Trump was involved. In any case, unless Cambridge Analytica / Aggregate IQ were able to alter the actual votes, it's an overstatement to claim that they "robbed" British democracy.

At the same time that British voters were exposed to the views of the Leave camp, they would have been exposed to the views of the Remain camp. It's the voters themselves who bear responsibility for how they voted (or if they voted), not some data mining firm that tried to persuade voters to vote a certain way.

Although campaigns employ such firms, it's unclear to what degree such data mining tactics contribute to a campaign win. The New York Times in March 2017 ran an article suggesting that Cambridge Analytica did not significantly help Trump win: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/cambridge-analytica.html?_r=0

One area where I do agree with the article lies in the danger of having our data gathered and then sold by major social media platforms. I would love to see Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google each broken up into smaller companies, and strict internet privacy laws put into place. Until that happens though, it's to be expected that campaigns will use whatever tools they can.

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