Bannon & Cambridge Analytica Conspired to Suppress Black Vote

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by QueEx, May 16, 2018.

  1. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower says Bannon wanted to suppress voters

    Christopher Wylie testified before the Senate judiciary committee that
    Bannon wanted ‘weapons to fight a culture war’

    Former Cambridge Analytica research director Christopher Wylie testifies before Senate judiciary
    committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. Photograph: Al Drago/Reuters

    Former White House senior strategist Steve Bannon and billionaire Robert Mercer sought Cambridge Analytica’s political ad targeting technology as part of an “arsenal of weapons to fight a culture war”, according to whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

    “Steve Bannon believes that politics is downstream from culture. They were seeking out companies to build an arsenal of weapons to fight a culture war,” Wylie said, when asked why investors thought that the political consultancy’s efforts would work, targeting people based on psychological profiles and assessment of their personality.

    The pink-haired 28-year-old was appearing to give evidence on Capitol Hill for the first time since his decision to blow the whistle on the use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica set off shock waves that are still reverberating through Westminster, Washington DC and Silicon Valley.

    Wylie also explained why Cambridge Analytica was testing messages such as “drain the swamp” and “build the wall” in 2014, before the Trump campaign existed:

    “The company learned that there were segments of the populace that were responsive to these messages that weren’t necessarily reflected in other polling,” he said.

    The whistleblower previously revealed to the Observer that the political consultancy used the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook profiles to help Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit leave campaign.

    The revelation triggered a public debate over privacy and micro-targeted advertising, and led Facebook to overhaul the way it works with third-party researchers and app developers.
    Hersh did not believe that Cambridge Analytica’s approach was successful at persuading people to vote differently during the 2016 presidential election. “It’s hard to move people. It’s easier to mobilise or demobilise than it is to persuade people,” he said.

    Wylie agreed, but noted that Cambridge Analytica had a treasure trove of “dense and valuable” data compared with traditional marketing approaches that allowed it to create a “precise algorithm”.

    Many of the senators’ questions focused on Facebook and other internet companies’ business models and whether individuals were aware of the degree of privacy invasion they are subjected to.

    Senator Kamala Harris of California said that Facebook’s business model was not always working “in the best interest of the American people”.

    “Users have little to no idea of just how Facebook tracks their information,” she said. “In the real world, this would be like someone following you as you walk down the street, watching who you are, where you’re going, and who you’re with. For most people, this would be an invasion of privacy and most people would call the cops.”

    Wylie said that Facebook has created a platform that encourages the abuse of people’s privacy. “It’s true you can’t buy Facebook’s data but they make it readily available to its customers via its applications,” he said.

    He added that the way Facebook profiles are designed makes it “conducive to scraping data” and that this is a setup that “catalyses its misuse”.

    Throughout the committee hearing, several Republican senators including Ted Cruz and Thom Tillis pointed to the Obama campaign’s use of Facebook data, to highlight the fact that such practices are bipartisan.

    However, people who downloaded the Obama campaign app were aware they were using a political app. By contrast, the data obtained by Cambridge Analytica was obtained via a personality quiz application whose users had no idea their data would be used by a political campaign.

    Wylie, a Canadian data analytics expert, joined Strategic Communication Laboratories Group (SCL) in 2013. Shortly after, he came up with an idea that led to the creation of an offshoot called Cambridge Analytica, which offered predictive analytics, behavioural sciences and data-driven advertising technology to political campaigns and businesses.

    Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the personal information of millions of Facebook users to build profiles of US voters in order to target them with personalised political advertisements, via a related UK-based entity called SCL Elections.

    “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles,” said Wylie in March. “And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”


    Wylie has previously told MPs at a British select committee that the EU referendum was won through fraud after Vote Leave allegedly used a network of companies to get round election spending laws. He said he thought there “could have been a different outcome had there not been, in my view, cheating”. He also met privately with House Democrats in April, but Wednesday’s hearing was his first public appearance before US lawmakers.

    Wylie worked with Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan to obtain data from Facebook users and their friends including likes, activities, check-ins, location, photos, religion, politics and relationship details.

    A year later the Guardian published an article revealing that Cambridge Analytica was using the Facebook data to target voters for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. At the time Facebook removed the personality quiz app, and demanded certifications from Kogan, Wylie and Cambridge Analytica that the information had been destroyed.

    Cambridge Analytica closed down in early May, denying any wrongdoing, but saying that the negative media coverage left it with no clients and mounting legal fees.

    This week the New York Times reported that the department of justice and FBI have begun investigating the now-defunct political consultancy.

    Wylie was joined by two academics, Mark Jamison from the University of Florida, who focuses on how technology impacts the economy, and political scientist Eitan Hersh from Tufts University.


  2. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    . . . After the hearing, Wylie told CNN that although he did not
    take part in voter suppression activities, he alleged that African-
    Americans were particular targets of Cambridge Analytica's
    "voter disengagement tactics," which he said were used to
    "discourage or demobilize certain types of people from
    voting," and that campaigns and political action committees
    requested voter suppression from Cambridge Analytica.

    . . . Alleged Russian ties - Wylie also outlined during his testimony
    how he believed it may have been possible for the Facebook data of
    American voters to have been obtained by entities in Russia. Wylie
    highlighted how Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan --
    who has told CNN he gathered information on 30 million Americans
    through his Facebook personality test app in 2014, which he then
    passed to Cambridge Analytica -- made numerous trips to Russia, in
    part a result of his work with St. Petersburg University.

  3. gdatruth

    gdatruth A Man Apart Certified Pussy Poster

    sad thing alot of black inadverently right along with this agenda
    not voting in 2016 was a effectively a vote for trump
  4. xxxbishopxxx

    xxxbishopxxx Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    It's so fucking funny that white people will move mountains to keep black people from voting, when all they have to do is get a few "woke" black people to tell us voting doesn't matter.
    QueEx likes this.
  5. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    It worked. It wasn't the only reason, but voter turnout fell. I think voter suppression was also huge along with ID laws. Our people voted in higher numbers for the dems, just like always, and Bernie and Bernie supporters in general who are mostly white played a huge role in actually losing the election, but we STILL have folks on THIS board talking about voting doesn't matter, Hillary would have been worse for black folks than Trump, and 3rd party votes aren't wasted votes, voting doesn't matter and encouraging black folks to not participate. I don't have the link anymore, but some of the ads were released a while back and we had folks on here parroting every single Russian talking point.

    See also:
    QueEx and xxxbishopxxx like this.
  6. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    (Like that you posted it; Hate the content)
    Camille likes this.

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