Much has been made of Cambridge Analytica over the last month or so, and Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled for a public whipping on Capitol Hill this week to atone for his “sins” – in the eyes of some. However, did Cambridge Analytica do anything materially different than Obama’s team? Team O gathered, (and still has at Organizing for Action) millions of data points it scraped and gathered in other ways via social media. Some believe that Obama even had help at high levels within these social media companies.
It is also worth noting that an online information company was founded by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, for the sole purpose of getting Hillary Clinton elected. In the questioning of Mark Zuckerberg we hope that some of our elected representatives will bring up this issue too.
But Cambridge Analytica helped get TRUMP elected. And that, fundamentally is its real “sin.” (In the eyes of some.)
(From Mother Jones)
Four years later, the campaign has grown even more sophisticated. Visit Dashboard, the 2012 organizing portal that Reed helped develop, and you’re given a never-ending variety of tasks designed to both engage you and learn more about you. If you sign your name to a petition on the site, that’s tracked. If, as you’re prompted to do time and again, you write a paragraph explaining what the campaign means to you, that text can be mined for relevant signifiers (say, support for LGBT equality) and added to your voter profile.
“I teach this, and to a T my students use the word ‘creepy,’” says Daniel Kreiss, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill…
If one is going to rake Facebook over the coals, at least make sure that they are the right coals.