From Mother Jones 2012: Inside the Obama Campaign’s Hard Drive (The ‘creepy’ way Team Obama exploited social media)

Harper Reed, making sure to hit every single hipster style cliche. Every one. Vomit. We get it dude. You’re “woke” or whatever. 


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.

This, no joke is the logo for Groundwork, a company founded by the Chairman of Google to get Hillary Clinton elected.


But Cambridge Analytica helped get TRUMP elected. And that, fundamentally is its real “sin.” (In the eyes of some.)

(From Mother Jones)

But perhaps nothing has changed the game for political microtargeters more than the ubiquity of social networks. Privacy rules, which vary from site to site, technically render a lot of data inaccessible; Facebook’s terms of uselimit the extent to which outside groups can mine the site. But the Obama campaign has found ways around those barriers too. One of the campaign’s most useful innovations in 2008 was to create a social-media platform,, that encouraged its 2 million members to log in with their Facebook accounts. Those who did consented to the campaign’s harvesting some of their Facebook data.

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.

Click here for the article.