The Guardian published an exposé about how Cambridge Analytica allegedly mastered the use of social media data to give the Brexit and Trump campaigns a crucial edge in 2016.
The UK news outlet released an extensive story about Christopher Wylie, the Canadian genius behind the Cambridge Analytica data firm that was reportedly the secret weapon behind these two campaigns’ electoral successes. It’s long been speculated that the company used people’s Facebook information to enhance their electioneering efforts, but now its founder has come forward and purportedly claims to have documents proving that this was the case. What’s more, he says that his company was created by SCL Elections, a subsidiarity of the SCL Group that he told a reporter is supposedly known for its expertise in conducting “cyberwarfare for elections”. The SCL umbrella has military contracts alongside civilian ones, therefore making it an extension of the “deep state” and adding credence to the claims that Cambridge Analytica functioned as an indispensable component behind Brexit and Trump’s victories.
The Guardian goes on to explain how users’ Facebook data was mined through apps, quizzes, and “seeders”, and that people’s personality traits were paired with their “likes” and other account activity to build detailed profiles of millions of people, which the outlet and its interviewee suggest might have been illegal. In their defense, Cambridge Analytica always asserted under pressure that this isn’t the case, and has sometimes said that it was conducting academic research. This “plausibly deniable” stance shows just how blurred the line is becoming between academia, marketing, politics, and intelligence, but to be fair, this has been a steadily growing problem for years already and Cambridge Analytica isn’t the first company to be implicated with accusations of legal and ethical impropriety in this field. The only thing that they’re really “guilty” of is creatively identifying and tapping into the anti-systemic zeitgeist of the British and American societies.
The argument can be made that it was “wrong” for them to procure people’s private Facebook data, but that doesn’t change the fact that the results were used for very effective purposes in pushing forth what the masses apparently wanted, which is Brexit and Trump. The Mainstream Media was, and still is, completely taken aback by what happened because they convinced themselves of the inevitability of both of those campaigns’ defeats, arrogantly refusing to recognize and accept the obvious signs that people were clamoring for change. All that Cambridge Analytica did was process preexisting data, objectively assess its results, and pass along the findings to its clients so that they can hone their messages, though there are legitimate fears that data brokers such as this one might eventually become too powerful if they independently leverage this information for their own ends one day.
This whole affair goes to show the growing influence that technology companies are having in today’s post-modern society, but the only reason why it’s coming under the Mainstream Media’s microscope is because it was one of the reasons why the “wrong side” won. That’s why The Guardian also goes on a bizarre tangent in implying that there might have been a Russian government connection to Cambridge Analytica, all in order to pander to the Russiagate mob and their “deep state” controllers. That aside, the exposé is informative because it lays bare the truth of what’s happening behind the scenes – and literally, behind computer and phone screens – and explains how people’s private preferences are being vacuumed up and analyzed in creating a dizzying array of psychological profiles for political purposes.