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  1. #1
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    Default Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    A potentially damaging report on Channel 4 News this evening (19th March 201 has suggested that Cambridge Analytica harvested over 50 Million Facebook accounts and used the data to both gather information on the Facebook clients, and where they identified potential voters in the 2016 US elections who were undecided, 'nudged' them toward the Republican candidates with a stream of messages for and against candidates, with CA Chief Executive, Alexander Nix filmed at a meeting declaring that this tactic, in effect, won the election for the Republican candidate. In other words, Nix is claiming that CA was a key player in pushing voters on the edge to vote for their guy.

    The undercover operation run by Channel 4 also filmed Nix and associate Mark Turnbull explaining how to bribe candidates, how to influence voters, and how they use 'ex-intelligence' people from Israel and the UK to do the spade work, often farming out contracts to temporary firms to hide CA's direct involvement.

    Here is the issue it seems to me. In the past 25 years and thus before the internet became an everyday tool, at political meetings at election time anyone could turn up to cheer or jeer the candidate. In the Youtube clip below I offer a famous riposte from Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson

    Since then, open meetings have been replaced by rallies organized by the party to present their candidate in a scenario where everyone cheers. The days when a Prime Minister could be heckled by a hostile voter disappeared, in fact the only hostility candidates faced these days is in the media, where on BBC or ITV in the UK politicians can be subject to fierce questioning. But while that remains in the UK -the US has abandoned any form of adversarial questioning at election time- the key it seems to me is that campaigning has moved online, and with that the power of PR companies who know the internet inside out has expanded exponentially to give firms like CA tremendous power to reinforce messages for their client and trash the opponents.

    BUT, does it in fact work? Does the claim by Nix that, in effect, Cambridge Analytica won it for the Republicans in 2016 stand up to scrutiny or is it sales pitch?

    CA used foreign nationals to manage part of the Republican Campaign in 2016, this is illegal and must be investigated.

    But what about Facebook which lost something like $25 billion in share values as the story filtered through to the markets -? Facebook claims the data CA acquired was supposed to be deleted, was it?

    Can Facebook be trusted, was it duped into supporting 'David Dennison' and his crooked, corrupt campaign, or, having been told about CA's activities did it turn a blind eye and hope nobody would find out?

    Can Facebook survive, and is this a turning point in online politics and the money and power that is involved in data harvesting and the attempt to manipulate elections?

    I don't use Facebook and don't know what it is, so I can't answer that, but this seems to me to be more than just a story.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...raps-elections



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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    This evening, Alexander Nix was interviewed by Emily Maitlis for the 10.30pm BBC-2 Newsnight programme recorded before the broadcast of the Channel 4 News item in the OP at 7pm.

    He has defended Cambridge Analytica on the basis that the Russian born academic Alexander Kogan mined data from Facebook users with their permission and that CA then augmented it. Nix claims the allegations being made are the result of a media attack on CA over many months because of its role in the 2016 US elections, but that CA provided data that was a core part of the campaign by the Republican Party for a man who had been legally selected as their Presidential candidate.

    He forgot to mention that CA staff who are not US citizens were directly involved in the campaign. I believe this is illegal in US election law.

    Looks to me like CA and Facebook are on the edge of oblivion.

    There should be a link via the BBC iPlayer to BBC-2 Newsnight in the next 24 hours.



  3. #3
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    Alexander Nix has been suspended by Cambridge Analytica, as more revelations emerge from the undercover operation. Needless to say Nix is now saying that he and Gordon Turnbull bragged about their role in the US election to impress what they thought was a client, so it it hard to know if some of the things he said are true, for example:

    In Tuesday’s second instalment of an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News in association with the Observer, Nix said he had a close working relationship with Trump and claimed Cambridge Analytica was pivotal to his successful campaign.

    “We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting. We ran all the digital campaign, the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy,” he told reporters who were posing as potential clients from Sri Lanka.

    The company’s head of data, Alex Tayler, added: “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3m votes but won the electoral college vote that’s down to the data and the research.
    “You did your rallies in the right locations, you moved more people out in those key swing states on election day. That’s how he won the election.”

    Another executive, Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, was recorded saying: “He won by 40,000 votes in three states. The margins were tiny.
    Turnbull took credit for one of the most well known and controversial campaigns of the last presidential campaign, organised by the political action group Make America Number 1.

    “The brand was ‘Defeat Crooked Hillary’. You’ll remember this of course?” he told the undercover reporter. “The zeros, the OO of crooked were a pair of handcuffs ... We made hundreds of different kinds of creative, and we put it online.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-trump-elected

    What we don't yet know is what the relationship was between CA and Steve Bannon, if the texts of the candidate were written by Bannon and Stephen Miller with 'advice' from CA. There does not appear to be a link between CA, Wikileaks and Julian Assange and the leak of DNC emails just as CA might not have been linked with Joseph Mifsud to the Russians who it is claimed obtained the DNC material, but there are links between CA and some Russians, and with unknown ex-intelligence operatives involved there could at least in theory have been some contact if not co-ordination, it is hard to say. What does emerge is the extent to which the Republican campaign relied on or used foreign nationals to help them distribute their messages, and that I understand is illegal.

    The irony of this is that the same people who have claimed that the American political system has been 'broken' by the 'lobby' and is in thrall to Super PACS and well-paid 'advisers' and computer geeks, used precisely those mechanisms to wage war against Hillary Clinton. Or maybe there is no irony at all, and the people involved are just hypocrites.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    I liked Fb however 2 years ago for some reasons i felt compelled to delete it_
    It looks like more more Big names are starting to delete their Facebook pages too
    and one of these is Elon Musk who is not advertising anymore for two of his major companies_
    People get so much taken by such events that they even create #ashtags with the deleteFb letters with it _

    It has been said that data is like the oil for FB which obviously uses that data to produce money.
    What is really disappointing is that in the setting there are options which should guarantee
    that our info and data would not be shared with any third parties etc , or that by setting the privacy App people
    can limit the personal information they can gather about Bio, religion, family friends etc .. but does it really work that way ? or info are taken anyway.. mhmhm_
    To be safe on Fb one should never click on a "like" button where a product or a service is offered, otherwise they already know half of our life _
    I was surprised to see the "delete" and "boycott" #ashtags on twitter too, and the whatsapp co-founder who advises to do the same _

    I am obviously sorry for those investors who own shares with Fb and were long up to a few days ago, or still are but certainly in deep Draw Down ...
    In terms of turning bad news into possibly more prosperous ones, it would be worthy to keep an eye on that Share which is apparently dropping like hell
    and chances are it might reach to the low level of May-Jul/17, and depending how things will go if a new solid policy will be made, a nice bounce will
    happen from those levels, but it will take time of course _
    So much heat around it atm, and someone even considering to propose another #ashtag with the name #PayFb_shareholdersback
    I guess invested Money can be lost when geo political things, news , crashes in the stock market happen, but people shouldn't lose money
    when the privacy line is crossed_
    Hopefully things will be sorted out as Fb is a very important and interesting social media.. unbelievable even my granny uses it .. _



  5. #5
    Rustler of skirts and dresses Junior Poster skirtrustler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    The Channel 4, and other, journalism was brilliant. Not just a sting, it was the whole beehive including the queen. One of the most surreal moments was when Nyx was describing doing exactly what Channel 4 were doing to him at that exact moment.

    From 25 May 2018 EU/GDPR means that a European users Facebook data cannot be hoarded or processed legally unless the user EXPLICITLY permits it, or it is otherwise required by law; and has to be deleted once there is no legal reason for Facebook to process it, which in UK (Limitations Act, Interception Act etc) is around 6 years for accounting data and 2 years for anything you can be sued for.

    I really do hope a LOT of people across the EU file comprehensive ‘GDPR Subject Access Requests’ against Facebook on 25 May 2018; or remove their permission for Facebook to process certain parts of it; and it will be fascinating to see the fall out from this in EU and USA. The bigger this story gets the more people will file such requests.

    Is that the smell of burning toast?


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    Having fun living out all those long supressed fantasies.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    Two articles by way of 'catch up' for those interested. One general article that notes Alexander Nix is scheduled to appear before the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on April 17th.

    The other, from The Spectator, a pro-Conservative magazine, queries if the future of elections will base campaigns on individual voters identified through data collection and targeted because of the cars they drive, the food they eat and whether or not they cry when watching the news, or whatever pscho profling is in 2020. Also notes that Labour used profiling of the kind used by CA in the 2017 campaign.

    I set up a Facebook page under my name because a friend asked me to, but I have never used it so there is zero data for anyone to mine. Or it could be that they do know who I am and realise I am a lost cause, having an independent mind...

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/0...tract_details/

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/0...ing-direction/
    (there are some related articles of interest but some are behind a paywall).


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  7. #7
    Senior Member Silver Poster buttslinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    Get your propaganda served homestyle, by your favorite trusted news anchor, someone you can trust.


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    World Class Asshole

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    Aaron Banks, Nigel Farage, the Russians, Brexit, the US elections (and don't forget Assange)...I don't think the revelations reveal a co-ordinated campaign, rather the meeting of like minds. But what is it that they like, other than each other's company- or rather, what is it that they don't like? And why is it always the Russians?
    Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who bankrolled Nigel Farage’s campaign to quit the EU, had multiple meetings with Russian embassy officials in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, documents seen by the Observer suggest.

    Banks, who gave £12m of services to the campaign, becoming the biggest donor in UK history, has repeatedly denied any involvement with Russian officials, or that Russian money played any part in the Brexit campaign. The Observer has seen documents which a senior Tory MP says, if correct, raise urgent and troubling questions about his relationship with the Russian government.
    The communications suggest:
    • Multiple meetings between the leaders of Leave.EU and high-ranking Russian officials, from November 2015 to 2017.
    • Two meetings in the week Leave.EU launched its official campaign.
    • An introduction to a Russian businessman, by the Russian ambassador, the day after Leave.EU launched its campaign, who reportedly offered Banks a multibillion dollar opportunity to buy Russian goldmines.
    • A trip to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key partners and financiers behind a gold project, including a Russian bank.
    • Continued extensive contact in the run-up to the US election when Banks, his business partner and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, and Nigel Farage campaigned in the US to support Donald Trump’s candidacy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...brexit-meeting


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    Cambridge Analytica, Wikileaks, LeaveEU, the Republican Presidential campaign of 2016 -what do they all have in common? Russia.

    Aaron Banks, who has treated Parliament with contempt -as has Alexander Nix and Dominic Cummings of the Tory Leave campaign, is now under investigation for what he claims are innocent meetings with the Russian Ambassador to the UK and the allegation of an offer of shares in a Russian diamond mine. But when his buddy Nigel Farage tries to dismiss it as
    a boozy lunch with the Russian ambassador
    Why was it the Russian ambassador? There are diamond mines in South Africa, and I am sure the South African ambassador was as interested in the Brexit referendum, why no lunches with him? Always the Russians.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a8425321.html


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  10. #10
    Senior Member Professional Poster Paladin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Data and Dirty Tricks

    The only thing that was different from what CA did in 2016 and what bho did in 2012 was that in 2012 facebook actually helped the bho team do it.


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