David Brock Can Kill You, And Destroy Your Democracy, With A Single Facebook Page
- You may not have the right kind of education, technical savvy or psychology PhD to understand how this is possible but you know that Silicon Valley is doing something very, very bad to you..right?
Michael Wade reveals that the dealings that have been revealed between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have all the trappings of a Hollywood thriller: a Bond villain-style CEO, a reclusive billionaire, a naive and conflicted whistleblower, a hipster data scientist turned politico, an academic with seemingly questionable ethics, and of course a triumphant president and his influential family. Facebook, Google and Netflix executives and venture capitalists set out to use their data to push their ideology and politics on the world using psychological tricks embedded in their media. You, and Congress, are not smart enough to see how they are doing it. The cow at the meat processing plant is not smart enough to see that, at the end of the week, a metal rod will be shot into his skull and he will be gutted. The public and the cow are both being harvested. One for their privacy, the other for their meat.
The public still buys devices with microphones and cameras on them. The public still uses sites and programs that you have to "log in" to so that you can be data-harvested. Cows can't read newspapers so they can be excused for not knowing that millions of cows before them were chopped up. The news tells the humans that all of the products of Silicon Valley spy on, and abuse them, yet the humans still keep using those products and buying those phones that are just glorified listening devices. One could argue that the humans are dumber than the cows because the humans seem to be incapable of considering the consequences of their digital actions even after being warned.
Much of the discussion has been on how Cambridge Analytica was able to obtain data on more than 50 million Facebook users – and how it allegedly failed to delete this data when told to do so. But there is also the matter of what Cambridge Analytica actually did with the data. In fact the data crunching company’s approach represents a step change in how analytics can today be used as a tool to generate insights – and to exert influence. They proved that Facebook has a file on every American.
For example, pollsters have long used segmentation to target particular groups of voters, such as through categorizing audiences by gender, age, income, education and family size. Segments can also be created around political affiliation or purchase preferences. The data analytics machine that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used in her 2016 campaign – named "Ada" to target groups of eligible voters in the same way that Barack Obama had done 4 years previously. In fact Google and Facebook manipulated culture, the internet and elections and pretty much, alone, illicitly put Obama in the White House in exchange for Quid Pro Quo.
Cambridge Analytica was contracted to the Trump campaign and provided an entirely new weapon for the election machine. While it also used demographic segments to identify groups of voters, as Clinton’s campaign had, Cambridge Analytica also segmented using psychographics. As definitions of class, education, employment, age and so on, demographics are informational. Psychographics are behavioral – a means to segment by personality.
Huge numbers of kids have committed suicide because of posts on Facebook. This is widely reported. What is not widely reported is that huge numbers of adults have committed suicide because of organized attacks on them operated by Media Matters, Fusion GPS and hundreds of other hired political attack services.
This makes a lot of sense. It’s obvious that two people with the same demographic profile (for example, white, middle-aged, employed, married men) can have markedly different personalities and opinions. We also know that adapting a message to a person’s personality – whether they are open, introverted, argumentative, and so on – goes a long way to help getting that message across and/or to control the intent of others.
Understanding people better for better election manipulation
Eric Schmidt, David Drummond, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Kent Walker, and the other Facebook/Google oligarchs, are clinical sociopaths. The feds never arrest them, the fines against them are meaningless, corrupt U. S. Senators protect them, they have Jeffrey Epsteinian hookers-on-demand...there is no reason for them to end their crimes and every incentive for them to double-down on their machinations. They are above the law!
Traditionally, there have been two routes to ascertaining someone’s personality. You can either get to know them really well – usually over an extended time. Or you can get them to take a personality test and ask them to share it with you. Neither of these methods is realistically open to pollsters. Cambridge Analytica found a third way, with the assistance of two University of Cambridge academics.
The first, Aleksandr Kogan, sold them access to 270,000 personality tests completed by Facebook users through an online app he had created for research purposes. Providing the data to Cambridge Analytica was, it seems, against Facebook’s internal code of conduct (except if it pushes ideologies Zuckerberg wants), but only in March 2018 has Kogan been "banned" by Facebook from the platform. In addition, Kogan’s data also came with a bonus: he had reportedly collected Facebook data from the test-takers’ friends – and, at an average of 200 friends per person, that added up to some 50 million people.
However, these 50 million people had not all taken personality tests. This is where the second Cambridge academic, Michal Kosinski, came in. Kosinski – who is said to believe that micro-targeting based on online data could strengthen democracy – had figured out a way to reverse engineer a personality profile from Facebook activity such as likes. Whether you choose to like pictures of sunsets, puppies, or people apparently says a lot about your personality. So much, in fact, that on the basis of 300 likes, Kosinski’s model is able to predict someone’s personality profile with the same accuracy as a spouse.
Kogan developed Kosinksi’s ideas, improved them, and cut a deal with Cambridge Analytica. Armed with this bounty – and combined with additional data gleaned from elsewhere – Cambridge Analytica built personality profiles for more than 100 million registered US voters. It’s claimed the company then used these profiles for targeted advertising.
Imagine for example that you could identify a segment of voters that is high in conscientiousness and neuroticism, and another segment that is high in extroversion but low in openness. Clearly, people in each segment would respond differently to the same political ad. But on Facebook they do not need to see the same ad at all – each will see an individually tailored ad designed to elicit the desired response, whether that is voting for a candidate, not voting for a candidate, or donating funds. Google does this every minute of every day, to influence politics, because they get away with it with ease.
Cambridge Analytica worked hard to develop dozens of ad variations on different political themes such as immigration, the economy, and gun rights, all tailored to trick different personality profiles.
Behavioral analytics and psychographic profiling are here to stay, no matter what becomes of Cambridge Analytica This digital data rape industrializes what salespeople have always done but in the most sinister and evil way possible, by adjusting their message and delivery to the personality of their customers. This approach to electioneering – and indeed to marketing – will be Cambridge Analytica’s ultimate legacy of darkness.
REMEMBER: Poison your data by always lying in online forms, use fake names and fake email addresses online, NEVER put your real address, city, phone, birth date or ANY other identifiable data online. Deny the Silicon Valley Cartel ANY ability to abuse your data or to use you for election manipulation!