I suspect they have dozens of CA's on their hands currently. At the very least, if not hundreds.
The key takeaway that some people will have had from Cambridge Analytica, is not 'they got caught, don't do this', but rather 'they were largely successful and incredibly cheap'.
The upshot from having lots of players in this space however, is not one of greater control by insidious power addicts, but rather a loss of control as the players compete for attention and influence. So, chaos in the news and the elimination of any kind of consistent narrative from on high. I think we have been experiencing this for a while now. In some ways it is almost an improvement.
But now we see that those same instruments can be used to not only change shopping decisions but also democratic decisions, which is not okay in my opinion and should be prosecuted and be punished with severe penalties.
Otherwise, the whole point of democracy (one human, one vote) is useless, as the rich can simply buy ads to influence enough people to follow their goals.
The industry is full of tiny little battering rams like subliminal advertising. Each attempt yields success or failure, rinse and repeat. The refinement at this point is unfathomable.
Manipulating people for money is ethically suspect. And the whole industry is an arms race: people spend money on advertising mainly because their competitors do.
If we banned all advertising tomorrow, consumers would still get about the same outcomes, especially now that the Internet makes it easy to find products and product information. Well, the same outcomes except they'd have circa an extra $1k/year in their pockets, and would spend a lot less time watching ads.
And if there's anything which recent history has shown conclusively beyond doubt, it's that people can be relied upon to give each other reliable and accurate information about people and products. Especially online.
That's surely what would happen if we banned advertising. One can already get plenty of great product information without advertising, and from the same kinds of sources you link.
What if you're advertising the historical equivalent of a vacuum cleaner over a brush? A dishwasher over washing up liquid, a car over a carriage, a savings fund that invests ethically over one that doesn't, a cheaper, faster municipal broadband over a monopolistic inferior broadband, the examples are innumerable. A progressive political party over a corrupt incumbent?
I agree in general that advertising should be curtailed from the present level, but I don't agree that it's fundamentally unethical.
If you've got to rely on word of mouth, even with the internet, it will take a lot longer for good, useful products/ideas to spread.
If advertising were vital for learning about new products, nobody would use open source software. Nobody would use Hacker News for that matter. They do, which should tell you there's something wrong with your theory.
Hacker News is literally advertising / lead gen for YCombinator.
Apologies for yet again picking a nit, but PR doesn't involve paid placement of a message. Neither does lobbying, media relations, inbound marketing (Hacker News), messaging, positioning, or getting an intern to stand with a sandwich board through the street. You could run a coach and horses through that definition of advertising.
That line runs between "let's think about this as an interesting thought experiment" and "let's do this!" - People can and are manipulated even when they know they are being advertised. That has been shown time and time again. Advertising is psychological manipulation with another name.
We can't abandon and block ads completely. If we did that, we wouldn't even get to be aware of products which might really make our lives better. How do we figure out the healthy balance out? I would argue that the current laws around advertising are pretty decent but they could be made better and adapted for social media platforms.
The Electoral College is what really violates the principle of "one human, one vote".
Changing a vote is hard. They only needed to make someone vote (or not) to make a difference, which is much easier to achieve
No it really does not if you understand what a Republic of States is. We are the United States of America. A republic of states. Not "America the great democracy" like people seem to want it to become.
A federalist nation of independent states is what the constitution created, and what we should be protecting. There are many things that would improve our elections (Wyoming Rule, No Gerrymandering, Proportional Electoral College, Instant Run Off Voting, and returning the Senate to the States just to name a few) but a national popular vote for President is a TERRIBLE idea, and would rip this nation apart and in the long run likely result in another civil war.
let me Guess you live in CA, NY, or Texas?
Because with out the Electoral College, the rest of the states do not matter.. the Elections will be decided by about 5 states in the union, the very thing the Electoral College was designed to prevent and is every much just as relevant today as it was when there were only 13 colonies
As to civil war.... You do understand that most of the private guns in this nation are in the Red States, and currently if National popular vote is enacted the Blue States will effectively control government at the national level (which is most likely why you support it, chances are you are a democrat and are tried of the Republicans having any power so if NY and CA can control the nation that would be grand for you) . Which will most likely mean extreme pushes to the Authoritarian left including Draconian gun control laws and seizures... Which will bring about all out civil war
//For the Record I an neither R or D, I am small L libertarian.
This doesn't really make sense: without the Electoral College, states as entities don't decide anything. You could say the people in five states will decide the (presidential) election, but there's nothing special about them other than population density. A vote in California would be exactly the same as a vote in Wyoming.
> if National popular vote is enacted the Blue States will effectively control government at the national level
Do the Legislative and Judicial branches not exist? Eliminating the Electoral College has no effect on the former whatsoever, and it affects the latter only insofar as the Legislative branch fails to be a check on the Executive for the purpose of nominating judges.
True, Democrats would have an edge in presidential elections — but only because the general population leans Democratic. If Republicans want to win elections, maybe they should have to convince more people to support them, rather than essentially gerrymandering the presidency with a system that divides the country up into arbitrary districts and allocates votes thereto?
Not really no, not as a check on power anymore anyway
Congress has given most of their authority to the Administrative State via vague open ended laws that are more complex than a Tolstoy novel that allows the same law to "mean" opposite things when used against the citizens by the Administrative state
The Judaical Branch has stopped following the constitution as written instead injecting "world opinion" and other non-sense into their decisions
>Eliminating the Electoral College has no effect on the former whatsoever, and it affects the latter only insofar as the Legislative branch fails to be a check on the Executive for the purpose of nominating judges.
False and False. The President has all kinds of power today over both, the president should not but eliminating the Electoral Collage will make that situation worse not better as it is often the Democrats that give power to the Executive then bitch when republicans use that power when a republican is elected. Most of the powers Trump is using today where given to the President by Democrat controlled congresses
>You could say the people in five states will decide the (presidential) election
Thank you Captain Nit Pick, it is clear that is what I meant from the context of the conversation
> but there's nothing special about them other than population density.
That is what is "special" about them, Urban area's have different needs and politics that Rural area's and Urban area's should not be allowed to disenfranchise rural area's which is exactly that you are advocating for.
Might as well just end the very concept of Statehood, elminiate states all together and just have 1 National Government with zero state governments. I am sure you would be fine with that as well.
We are a federalist nation for a reason, and today with the Electoral Collage a vote in CA means exactly the same as a Vote in WY. Each state chooses who they want to to be President, then if that person whens the approval of enough STATES they become president. National Popular vote eliminates the Federalist style of national government.
Depending on party. In California, which is reliably Democratic in presidential elections, a Democrat vote counts and a Republican vote doesn't. In Wyoming, which is reliably Republican in presidential elections, a Republican vote counts and a Democrat vote doesn't. Thus, the same vote means exactly the opposite in California as in Wyoming.
It baffles me that many Americans are ok with the current rule-by-simpsons-paradox that we have.
Because of the electoral college, combined with the cap on the size of the house, less populous states are overrepresented in the house, Senate, and presidency. That's not what the founders intended, and it's a mistake that should be corrected.
Better reforms include
* Enacting the Wyoming Rule
* Eliminating Gerrymandering, I want to use the other non political division to choose congressional districts. Counties, Postal Codes, Phone Area Codes something else
* Proportional Electoral College: Each Congressional District will vote for the President instead of Each State
* Instant Run Off Voting: First past the post needs to end.
* returning the Senate to the States
These are just a few reforms that I support
I think any argument against the Electoral College has to also include an argument against the Senate. Or is two senators/state acceptable?
The founding fathers clearly considered the effects of having large population centers and attempted to account for it in the House.
A system with no representation for the smaller states would lead to exactly the same scenario that caused the U.S. to be founded. Popular vote would always decide in favor of urban centers and rural citizens would be neglected yet expected to pay taxes.
Please don't rewrite history to support your political opinions.
> Popular vote would always decide in favor of urban centers and rural citizens would be neglected yet expected to pay taxes.
The point is that disenfranchisement of a large group of people would lead them to seek action against the government. You could pick the Civil Rights Movement if you think the Revolution doesn't fit the bill for some reason.
Yes and my point is that the comparison isn't apt.
> The point is that disenfranchisement of a large group of people would lead them to seek action against the government.
You mean like how those in urban centers are disenfranchised under the current system? "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression" seems to apply.
Taxation was a reason, but even just a basic reading of the Declaration of Independence shows there are "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism"
As such it was "their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"
I don't think I said anything about the sole reason being taxation. What I said was that limited political representation was not the issue, a complete absence was. I'm glad we agree on that.
As in other federal countries, it makes sense to elect one purely by popular vote, the other by giving each state equal representation.
To pass a law, you'd then need 50% of people and 50% of states to support it.
This is a simpler system for elections, and keeps the power of people and states more balanced.
e.g. Germany uses a very similar system (Bundestag being elected by popular vote, Bundesrat being chosen by each state).
Given the amount of guns in general circulation, I am not sure this calculus really matters. There is kind of a limit to how many guns you can hold at once.
Did we really not know that prior to 2016?
Did we really not know prior to Snowden that the NSA, GCHQ and all the others spied on the populace? There's a market difference between knowing in the abstract and understanding it as "this is happening. Right now. Here."
But conversely, it was well that Obama used data analytics to enhance his campaign, using techniques extremely similar to Cambridge Analytica's.
The important difference being users of the Obama for America app opted into sharing their data for political purposes, whereas CA claimed to be a personality quiz to secretly harvest data for political purposes.
The advertising industry comes from war propaganda from what I understand. So using advertising to sell goods is actually much more recent than using these methods to manipulate political views...
If this kind of advertising is able to make people act against their own interest to the level claimed with this political meddling, how is this somehow more acceptable on an economic level which directly impacts individuals?
At least for most people the consequences of the election are more distant, whereas if people are tricked into making poor purchasing decisions they could be looking at directly losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Certainly a large amount over their lifetime.
I can't see how this is any better, and I personally think it's worse. Is the only justification that poor purchasing decisions directly impacts the easily influenced people (one could unpleasantly spin it as getting what they deserve), whereas political decisions hit everyone?
(Not saying I completely buys this, but there is a major difference here).
As they've always done through the media? The hardest thing to swallow, for some people, is that democracy is deeply flawed, and these things openly show it. Until now they've been free to ignore it.
If you study a bit of History, or look beyond the western world, you will see how terrible the alternatives are. And you will see that democracy is something worth fighting for. Democracy is not flawed, it is hard. We have to fight for it, and the next generations will have to fight for it, and so on. It's real life.
I haven't resigned myself to living in a Black Mirror episode.
got a link or reference? would love to read more
And why it is so extremely dangerous that people are trying to destroy those checks and institute a direct democracy with things like the national popular vote.
In the US, the constitutional amendment process simply requires enough people in enough states to make an amendment happen. The people of the US could turn the US into one gigantic direct democracy should enough people so democratically vote.
The fact that most people in the US seem satisfied with a representative democracy rather than a direct democracy hardly seems reason to say that the US is not a democracy at all.
All of those checks and balances at every level of government were established by either the people themselves or by representatives of the people on behalf of the people. They were not put in place by some king or dictator. The checks and balances could be undone anytime enough people wanted to undo them, up to and including voiding the current Constitution and starting over if enough people wanted to. Maybe this kind of democracy should be distinguished from a true direct democracy -- like maybe an acquiescent direct democracy, where as long as you keep doing what the people want they won't take back direct control or something.
But the fact of the matter is that the sovereign of the United States as a whole and of each of the states individually is and has always been the people, the demos, δῆμος -- from whence democracy (δημοκρᾰτῐ́ᾱ) comes.
I mean, it says it right there at the beginning of the establishing document, "We the people ..."
The US could not turn itself in to a direct democracy with a vote of the people. The US Constitution would have to be amended and there is no mechanism in the US Constitution that would allows a direct vote to turn this nation into a direct democracy
>In the US, the constitutional amendment process simply requires enough people in enough states to make an amendment happen.
No that is not how it works at all. Either Congress would have to propose Amendments or 2/3 of the states would have to get together at a convention to propose them
Then they would need to be ratified by 3/4 (not 50%) of the states to be adopted
A direct Democracy would only require 50%+1 of the people in a nation wide vote. That is not how our constitution works and there is zero mechanism for such a vote to happen
>The checks and balances could be undone anytime enough people wanted to undo them, up to and including voiding the current Constitution and starting over if enough people wanted to.
This is all true, and has been over the years. For example on massive check on federal government power was that the Senate was not to be popularly elected by citizens, instead the Senate's purpose was to represent each states government's interest in congress, not the people. The House was "the peoples house", The constitution was amended to make the Senate a popularly elected position just like the house. This resulted in a MASSIVE expansion of Federal power, and the loss of State Sovereignty and pushing us closer to the nightmare that would be a direct democracy aka mob rule
Who in your mind does the voting on the representatives that would be proposing and voting on the constitutional amendments? I didn't say that it would only take a simple majority of voters to turn the US into a direct democracy. I said it would take enough voters to turn the US into a direct democracy. It would simply take enough voters to turn state legislatures into machines to produce the amendments to turn the Constitution into a direct democracy through amendment.
I never once in my reply said that it would take a simple majority.
>>In the US, the constitutional amendment process simply requires enough people in enough states to make an amendment happen.
> No that is not how it works at all. Either Congress would have to propose Amendments or 2/3 of the states would have to get together at a convention to propose them
Yes, this is literally how it works. If enough people of the several states voted for enough legislators who were committed to amending the Constitution such, that is all you need.
The process is more involved, yes, as you've laid out. But all you need is enough voters to do it. Those voters might have to go through the process of populating their state legislatures and the federal delegations with the right representatives to do it, but the sole requirement is that you have enough voters who want to do it.
> Then they would need to be ratified by 3/4 (not 50%) of the states to be adopted
Yes, again, this is just another way of saying that you need enough people. States can ratify by public referendum or by action of the legislature. Either way, you just need enough people. (E.g., )
> A direct Democracy would only require 50%+1 of the people in a nation wide vote. That is not how our constitution works and there is zero mechanism for such a vote to happen
I never said a single, nationwide vote. I just said you need enough people voting.
> This is all true, and has been over the years. For example on massive check on federal government power was that the Senate was not to be popularly elected by citizens, instead the Senate's purpose was to represent each states government's interest in congress, not the people. The House was "the peoples house", The constitution was amended to make the Senate a popularly elected position just like the house. This resulted in a MASSIVE expansion of Federal power, and the loss of State Sovereignty and pushing us closer to the nightmare that would be a direct democracy aka mob rule
I agree with this (except the moralizing about mob rule -- I don't have much opinion on whether direct democracy would be good or bad). All I'm saying is that if enough people wanted to, the progression to direct democracy would be unstoppable. All it takes is enough people (voting for the right legislators, etc etc yes yes the process itself takes more than a simple vote).
Edit: I am not saying whether the US voters turning the US into a direct democracy would be a good thing or not! I don't claim to know one way or another. I am only claiming that they could, if they wanted to. End edit.
I'm sorry that I was not more clear in what I wrote.
I was merely trying to point out that in a nation where the people themselves retain the ultimate power (sovereignty) to direct their own form of government, regardless of how the government is constituted at any given time, then you cannot realistically call it anything other than a democracy.
What we in the US have is a representative democracy / republic that is also rather decentralized federation (states and state's rights) as well.
The US is a democracy. 🇺🇸
The Senate was appointed by State Legislatures, this was changed with the 17th Amendment
The President is Chosen by Electorial College not a democratic vote (which I support BTW)
The Judicial Branch is Appointed for Life.
> Republic: 1. A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person. Yet the democracies of Greece are often called republics.
So historically, a distinction was in fact made.
Here is Alexander Hamilton (a republican in the classical sense of the word) making the distinction very clearly:
> "We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. Those who mean to form a solid republican government, ought to proceed to the confinges of another government. As long as offices are open to all men, and no constitutional rank is established, it is pure republicanism. But if we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy."
Even in the days anything more insidious would happen over direct mailing, or direct spam through the mailbox. Even knowing what magazines someone subscribes to is not obvious if you don’t catch the mail staff or check the garbage, which would be roughly equivalent to stalking someone online and checking their accounts followings and network.
I think as long as people are trying to build communities, there will be channels to get what other people are thinking/reading/discussing. It will be more tricky with true direct one direction messaging sending “orders” to an army of followers of an ideology.
CNN et al which all have questionable at best propaganda/war drum records are still pointed to with appeals to authority.l, etc.
Historically, political campaigns haven't designed their paid digital strategies around the iterative, test-driven tactics seen in other industries. The answer why is complicated but Parscale, as far as I can tell, was able to avoid all this organizational cruft because the campaign was so haphazardly put together. Happy to share more if this interesting to you, my startup is in this space.
What about the other 100 elections in the other 30 countries that were claimed to be won by SCL Elections, CA's parent company?
edit - and what do you think of CA's effect on Brexit? Am in the UK, so have been thinking about CA in light of that, more than any involvement they had with Trump.
(My source could be criticised as biased, but click through to to the actual report by the Information Commissioner's Office if you are suspicious.)
No, just the early statements from Cambridge Analytica and Leave.EU.
Was rather odd that Cambridge Analytica and Leave.EU both claimed to be working together until it started to look bad - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cambridge-analyt...
I am not really sure we were good at anything. The company had no direction coming from upper management, so we weren't really able to become experts at anything. The salespeople used the psychographic nonsense to sell to clients, which everyone internal knew was nonsense, so we were sometimes forced to use nonsense to solve problems. We were also forced to tackle impossible challenges because of salespeople's promises. There was very high turnover.
The technical teams were nice and had a lot of smart people. Most were fresh out of uni; first job.
> except the marketing part
I don't think we were particularly good at marketing, unless you mean marketing ourselves as evil geniuses. In which case we were too good for our own good.
Who exactly in the Labour party thought it was a good idea to pinch an election strategy firm from UKIP, that chooses to trade under the name EDL, is beyond me.
For the advertising, concur there's a lot of disagreement over whether or not CA's models worked.
For the data though, having a dataset on population preferences and network connections is useful for things besides just advertising. For example, most people agree the Russian campaign was based on dividing the population on divisive issues; the data exfiltrated from Facebook should reveal any particular group's divisive issues.
TLDR; There's other uses for the data besides targeted ads in the broader topic of data privacy.
Barack Obama's re-election team are building a vast digital data operation that for the first time combines a unified database on millions of Americans with the power of Facebook to target individual voters to a degree never achieved before.
Digital analysts predict this will be the first election cycle in which Facebook could become a dominant political force. The social media giant has grown exponentially since the last presidential election, rendering it for the first time a major campaigning tool that has the potential to transform friendship into a political weapon.
Etymologically it means intelligence (and used literally, it meant "mind").
I can't find one, but have seen at least one instance with an umlaut over the second o, suggesting something more akin to "new-o-politik" to my mind, which would fit somewhat with long o ancient Greek stuff I remember from taking Greek in college long ago and far away.
The group behind that project support the idea that people who use software should have access to the source code of that software, and therefore requesting the "source" is an action they would encourage.
They are also responsible for individual pieces of software with names like "GNU Emacs":
Hopefully this information proves interesting and useful to someone, and I haven't merely made a silly joke less funny by explaining it.
This should leapfrog you in that specific direction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_free_and_open-sourc...
That doesn't really clarify "the joke" for me. I don't see how that's a joke.
Classic Greek "long o" is literally a long o. The sound is drawn out at length.
So it seems likely to me this is pronounced similar to nootropics.
Like the term of yore, no-o-sphere (the sphere of the mind/intellect) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere
(Snobs will spell it noöpolitics)
But a consultant can't sell his company's services using 1800's words like "realpolitik," so new words were invented like "noopolitics."
"Political consultants" became "policy wonks," but thankfully that term pretty much died after the Clinton administration.
Also, "casual sex" became "locationships" in campaign circles. I think that term should have lasted longer. At least longer than noopolitics.
Political operative is making a comeback.
"Policy wankers" would fit better.
Isn't this just an offshoot of The CIA's "alleged" control of the news, which dates back to the 1950's? IMO it is. Unless  Operation Mockingbird never happened, and  Carl Bernstein was writing fiction.
When you file things in court between private individuals, or for a government indictment, it becomes an instruction manual. Scrap whatever internet marketing handbook you ordered, disregard whatever guru you are following and hoping to trust, these court filings are the canonical source on what successful people are doing online.
Obama, Facebook and the power of friendship: the 2012 data election
A unified computer database that gathers and refines information on millions of potential voters is at the forefront of campaign technology – and could be the key to an Obama win
Ed Pilkington and Amanda Michel in New York
Fri 17 Feb 2012
I used to run a campaign so well targeted that we had an 8% buy rate. That is, 8% of the people that saw the ad not only clicked, they actually bought the product.
Google charged us $35 for every click but the product was so expensive we still made a killing.
Targeted advertising needs to be banned for the good of society. It's evil, inisidious. All about trying your best to manipulate the worst traits of human nature for profit.
I can pretty easily find out if you're an addict, ex con, a gambler, in debt, illegal immigrant, bad English, maybe a minority. I'll find something you're probably insecure about and use that to sell you shit.
Also, I don't wanna waste money showing my ads to poor people. Can't do that directly, but there's plenty of proxies. Just add a bunch of "interests" to your audience. Things Like horse racing, wine collecting, yachts, expensive rugs.
I wish I was kidding, but everyone does this on targeted advertising platforms. It's a discrimination minefield, but since you use proxy characteristics for everything and everyone covers their eyes it's totally fine.
My favorite easy way to increase ad efficiency?
Exclude Android users. Really.
What's an example of this? I'm generally confused by your claim, because I've used a whole lot of internet and literally never bought anything through an ad.
If you are desperate and someone is able to convince you that he can solve your problems for only 20-50$ no questions asked, next day in delivered to your home wouldn't you click if you had the money?
Do a Google search for X accident lawyer, where X is literally anything, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
The most expensive targeted ads prey on the desperate. Personal injury, bankruptcy, addiction, jail, death and next of kin, cancer, you name it. Think if the worst possible things that could happen to somebody. Those are the most lucrative ad keywords
As dumb as it sounds when put like this, it actually works. When you start looking for it, marketing that exploits body image insecurities is particularly common.
And as counterpoint, if it was really so effective as you claim, why haven't we seen huge increases in ad spending lately?
And should also be banned. A painkiller being promoted and bought more by customers just because it has more money to spend in advertising is morally worse than the mere creepiness of regular (buy BS stuff you don't need) targeted advertisement.
Who needs ads?
Level the playing field with an online catalog where patients can discover (in, say, random order for each viewing, to avoid even sorting bias) all available painkillers.
You can then add voting to the catalog, so patients and doctors can weight in for how good they think the painkiller is -- but with huge fines and prison for any company trying to manipulate buy those votes.
Google is one of the biggest companies in the world solely from advertising revenue. Same with Facebook and other social media. The more information they have about you, the more terrible the ad targeting
Is that really the "obvious" inference?
Perhaps they're just good at selling something outrageously overpriced to a category of particularly gullible marks. It wouldn't be the first time in advertising history, I'm sure.
We're never going to get a comprehensive answer to the questions underlying these operations as long as companies like Facebook get to pick and choose what data gets released to research these issues.
The CEO is part of several other unsavory propaganda campaigns, such as Hamilton 68, which Greenwald et al have pretty effectively torn apart.
I think it is fair for me to assume that propaganda does influence politics without having to commission a study on it.
If politicians get results when they spend their money on it, they wont care to wait for "rigorous science" to prove anything. And they wont be foolish to pay for non-results for long...
Empirical results beat "rigorous science" every time...
And they wont be foolish to pay for
non-results for long...
It's far from obvious to me that you could tell apart the effects of different efforts - especially as you don't know who each voter voted for.
Companies that do those short of campaigns stagger them at different times, do polls before and after, test a new method in this or that area or demographic and check again and so on through election year.
It's not just "apply a bunch of methods at once" -> "check the final election result" as the only feedback.
Yet they still pay. People are irrational.
I know I should not extrapolate from one data point, and by way of example after a friend joined FB about 2 years ago, I have noticed a progressive change in their viewpoints. Although a trained scientist, they now talk frequently about (1) anti-vaccination, (2) chemtrails, (3) climate change hoax,(4) Soros, (5) Brexit.
My hypothesis is that hawkers of nonsense use FB to identify people interested in one of the above and then bombard them with recommends.
After all, we behave according to our lived experience - and if social media platforms are used to alter the perception of lived experience, then logic dictates that they can sway behaviour.
Should I be smug? Absolutely not! I have little idea where my opinions come from.
Not everything is so black and white.
No it doesn't. "Targeted ads" had very little to do with the CA/Facebook scandal and I see them as largely irrelevant in what happened. So I don't see that assumption present in the top comment at all.
A significant amount of the "noopolitics" done with this kind of data is done through peer-based evidence - "regular" accounts posting political things, with "regular" accounts responding, but where both accounts are false personas, spies if you will.
The 'targeted ads' line is a misleading spin. Very little was done with targeted ads and a lot more was done with impersonating Americans and posing as GOP officials, etc.
After listening to this, it sounds like Cambridge Analytica was overblown, in the sense that the information wasn’t as useful as claimed.
The consequences of the breach were overblown. Its scale and depth, however, were not.
Putting it in another way, CA was a false flag operation to keep Facebook's stock value?
This has nothing to do with social media. Credit card companies and other direct mail orgs have been buying and selling this stuff since the 80s.
Much more impactful was organic (non paid ads) russian efforts.
I'm not saying that the Russians or whoever influenced the election necessarily knew what they were doing from the outset but I think that they have stumbled on a combination that works or at least worked at that time.
Which leads me to another interesting point: Will these techniques work again in the future? Will the application of them need to be tweaked for differences in our culture or in different localities? How so?
It's all very interesting stuff. I wish there was more data.
In this regard I’d say the collusion conspiracy kicked off by Steele has been significantly more efffective than any Russian effort leading up to the election.
Mostly that’s because the Russians had some fake Facebook groups while Steele had the FBI and a large part of the American mass media all shilling for him.
Anomalies were detected in the data as early as 2016. The Mueller report brings even more evidence to the table. At this point it’s likely that voting infrastructure was compromised in some way in all 50 states, with detectable anomalies in all swing states, and in all states where Trump blindsided pollsters. It turns out that actual fraud might be the reason for the blindsiding.
Present the evidence then. I keep hearing about this mythical "evidence" of vote tampering in particular, and yet when I press for the actual evidence to be presented it turns out to be entirely "faith based" in the end every time. The very article you linked to, in fact, says: "There's still no evidence of vote hacking, of course".
Disclosure: I'm a naturalized Russian American who has spent most of his life in the US. Love this country, warts and all.
Yes, there's no direct proof that they hacked our voting ballots. I think there is some evidence, but that agencies assumed they just weren't effective AND witheld the information in an effort to prevent Russia's ultimate motive of undermining democracy entirely. This is why nobody is showing evidence and choosing to rely on "faith".
 https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/us/2016-presidential-campaign... and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uUfYtHfw3A
In some cases there was attempts to do SQL injection on these sites.
In a couple instances there is evidence that voter rolls were accessed.
There is no evidence of any vote tampering, and any suggestion that there was is just a conspiracy theory.
>> to prevent Russia's ultimate motive of
>> undermining democracy entirely
For the past 2 years or so, the entirety of the democratic party and mainstream press have been helping them to undermine and divide the US, so I figure it's working according to their plan. The US is exactly where Putin wants it to be: unproductive squabbling in the Congress and Senate, executive branch is partially paralyzed, half the US hates the other half due to basically lies fed to them by the mainstream press.
The rest of your post underscores my point perfectly: it's a faith-based argument.
Facebook rolled that stuff back long ago when it seemed there could be problems.
And of course, the misrepresentation of how the data was acquired - because the story was tied into other entities who got 'special access'. The blending of those stories created a false narrative.
To me - this is not about CA, it's about the press, clickbait, narrative management, PR and communications.
Knowing roughly 'what's happening' and lining that up against the narrative, the glowing glam-shots of the whistleblower in the Guardian, Facebook's response, the various versions of 'outrage' among the politicos. And nary anyone seemed to be on top of the basic reality.
What matters is the intent and the methods.
Its not overblown, its under corrected.
This is a bit closer to the truth when you read or listen to what analysis they were doing.
I think what they were doing and it's association with Trump conflated how bad it was.
I'd seen in some places that mining of Facebook data in the pre-trump era, was quite prolific by both parties.
My problem in this whole data privacy debate is things like "shadow profiles" where even though I don't have Facebook, they still have information on me because one of my friends decided to share their entire contacts list with facebook and thus facebook now knows my details too even though I never consented to my details being shared.
Another problem I have with this privacy debate is the lack of technological awareness in the politicians. I watched the US senate hearing last year with Mark Zuckerberg and was absolutely shocked at how clueless the members in office were. It was shameful. Mark also got away with giving almost useless answers and the senators didn't grill him much on more important issues.
At this point, I am really curious whether our data is even valuable in the "ad market" considering everything gets leaked anyway. So if something is getting so easily available to these ad companies by simply "misusing" the service, wouldn't the value of the data start going down? I remember a few months ago, there was an article on how the data per use was valued at around $12 (not sure if I am remembering right). I wonder if that value goes down over time because of these so claimed "breaches".
The entire mood of the subreddit changed overnight from posts that vilified Sec. Clinton to posts that glorified her - it was completely crazy. I read that subreddit quite frequently during US election season and the difference was staggering. People dismiss it as "everyone rallied behind the nominee" - as someone who was there practically every day. It definitely wasn't that. There is definitely something shady going on with that subreddit in particular.
Incidentally, the TV news media was also seemingly doing a blackout of the fairly heated protests taking place outside the building where all the disappointed Bernie folks were trying to get inside. I only found out of them much later from online videos.
They did not do the "exact same thing" at all. You are spreading lies using logical fallacies and that causes harm to the community here; please stop. Your false equivalence, presented without evidence, is harmful.
The sets to consider are:
- The cases where they did it. We know they did it. We're making a big deal out of it (CA, etc)
- The cases where they did it. We know they did it. We're not making a big deal out of it (Obama, given the sad state of much of western media)
- The cases where they did it and nobody knows, and nobody seems to care about.
I suspect the last case has the highest numbers. There were probably hacking operations that took whatever access tokens they could find, ate the user's entire social graph, and sold it off.
> Cambridge Analytica was not the 1st time this was done.
is not supported by the link you supplied. If you want to equate the two, then go ahead and do it, but you'll need much better sources than that.
CA/Trump is very different from what Obama's campaign did.
Both campaigns abused Facebook to get the personal information of people who never downloaded the offending app. The Obama campaign collected information on a lot more people than CA did, so many that Facebook said they would have blocked anybody else requesting that much information.
According to the Wikipedia article on the CA scandal :
> Cambridge Analytica in turn arranged an informed consent process for research in which several hundred thousand Facebook users would agree to complete a survey only for academic use. However, Facebook's design allowed this app not only to collect the personal information of people who agreed to take the survey, but also the personal information of all the people in those users' Facebook social network. In this way Cambridge Analytica acquired data from millions of Facebook users
So, both got more information than the sharers intended (namely, information from people in their social graphs), but in the Obama case the root nodes of any such information trees were people who knew they were sharing with the Obama campaign whereas in the CA case the root nodes were people who were told that they were sharing only for academic research.
That seems to me to be a pretty big difference. In the Obama case if I'm a root node, the abuse is that although they used the information for the purposes I intended when I gave it, they got more information than I may have intended to (or had a moral right to) give. In the CA case if I'm a root node the abuse is that plus them lying about why the information was being collected.
I couldn't find any news agencies reporting on it whatsoever and I didn't understand why. I still have a hard time to believe that it took so long for the media attention to catch on.
Tons of facts are out there in the wild, waiting to make enough noise that they hit the mainstream press, when they pick up each others stories and it goes global.
A single tweet from way back can do this.
This is why the press has so much power, ultimately, they decide where 1 billion eyeballs will be pointed (and where they won't).
For this reason I check the headlines from a lot of different sources; it's amazing what doesn't get picked up.
I did a very similar project for a CS/stats class in 2011. They did some basic k-means clustering on likes and basic sentiment analysis on posts.
Multiple political campaigns over the past several years clearly thought Cambridge Analytica's data/services were more valuable, or uniquely valuable, compared to services like Facebook or Google. If Google or Facebook were equally suited to the same purposes, I imagine they would have simply used Google or Facebook.
Any marketing professional worth his salt employs the full force of his persuasive skill against his own customers/employers. A marketing firm does not merely try to convince you to buy coca-cola. They also try to convince The Coca-Cola Company that they are effective at convincing you to buy Coca-Cola.
The question anybody looking to hire an advertising firm should ask themselves is whether skill at the later implies skill at the former. It could be the case that CA is good at persuading political campaigns, but bad at persuading voters. One reason to believe there might be a discrepancy here is because the persuasion tech used by CA in both cases is likely totally different. Which is to say, CA likely did not employ their facebook profiling tech against political campaigns to persuade those campaigns to buy their services. Rather, they probably used more traditional sales tactics (perhaps as simple as lying about the efficacy of their facebook profiling tech.)
Right, because there's literally no alternative to fortune-telling magic but more kinds of fortune-telling magic. If there were already a conceptually different prediction service with useful and measurable accuracy, the tarot card place would need to have superior accuracy or some other hook, otherwise they'd go out of business. Ultimately the differences would be measurable and demonstrable.
Marketing team could be selling snake oil, I get it, but snake oil only exists where a real, functioning product doesn't, otherwise there'd be results to compare.
I have no idea where you could have gotten that impression. Snake oil can exist whenever the consumer is unable to distinguish real products from snake oil. Marketing is absolutely one of the industries in which snake oil abounds, and there is no reason whatsoever that it doesn't exist in the niche of political advertising.
Is there any suggestion that the Obama campaign obtained their data illegitimately?
Huh, the article doesn't even mention Trump
>every candidate does the exact same thing
But the issue isn't that ads are being targeted. The article specifically cites data misuse. The same is true in the case of CA, they were not supposed to be selling people's data to third parties.