What happened to all that media preening about how the Luddites on the right just couldn’t match Obama’s political genius?
Because the ‘clever trick’ he used is actually more invasive than the ‘dirty trick’ that has Cambridge Analytica in ‘hot water’ for helping Trump.
See a pattern here?
It’s almost as though the real problem isn’t the information use, so much as the helping Trump.
The last couple of days, if you’ve seen any political news stories at all, you will have heard about the Trump / Facebook / Cambridge Analytica story.
What was the problem? People freely submitted personal information — the kind that is advertising GOLD on the internet — and a company leveraged that same information for political advantage.
Outrageous? Not really.
What about “the Database” Maxine Waters is bragging about Obama having established?
She’s not denouncing it as an invasion of privacy. Not at all. It’s Obama, so it’s ‘very smart’. And ‘powerful’.
Watch the shift in reporting from 2012, to 2018. Just to make it fair, we’re using an apples-to-apples comparison with one source — the Guardian.
We expect you do this same comparison with any number of other sources, too. Because for a lot of these outlets, the narrative is more important than the facts.
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.
Facebook is also being seen as a source of invaluable data on voters. The re-election team, Obama for America, will be inviting its supporters to log on to the campaign website via Facebook, thus allowing the campaign to access their personal data and add it to the central data store – the largest, most detailed and potentially most powerful in the history of political campaigns. If 2008 was all about social media, 2012 is destined to become the “data election”.
For the past nine months a crack team of some of America’s top data wonks has occupied an entire floor of the Prudential building in Chicago devising a digital campaign from the bottom up. The team draws much of its style and inspiration from the corporate sector, with its driving ambition to create a vote-garnering machine that is smooth, unobtrusive and ruthlessly efficient.
Already more than 100 geeks, some recruited at top-flight university job fairs including Stanford, are assembled in the Prudential drawn from an array of disciplines: statisticians, predictive modellers, data mining experts, mathematicians, software engineers, bloggers, internet advertising experts and online organisers.
Source: The Guardian
It touches on the database Maxine bragged about, and then continues.
Every time an individual volunteers to help out – for instance by offering to host a fundraising party for the president – he or she will be asked to log onto the re-election website with their Facebook credentials. That in turn will engage Facebook Connect, the digital interface that shares a user’s personal information with a third party.
Consciously or otherwise, the individual volunteer will be injecting all the information they store publicly on their Facebook page – home location, date of birth, interests and, crucially, network of friends – directly into the central Obama database.
“If you log in with Facebook, now the campaign has connected you with all your relationships,” a digital campaign organiser who has worked on behalf of Obama says.
Source: The Guardian
It was almost a throwaway line in the story that otherwise praised all Obama was doing:
The centralised nature of the database may raise privacy issues as the election cycle progresses. Jeff Chester of the digital advertising watchdog Center for Digital Democracy, which has been calling for regulators to review the growth of digital marketing in politics, said that “this is beyond J Edgar Hoover’s dream. In its rush to exploit the power of digital data to win re-election, the Obama campaign appears to be ignoring the ethical and moral implications.”
Source: The Guardian
Time Magazine praised the same thing:
For a campaign dependent on a big youth turnout, this could have been a crisis. But the Obama team had a solution in place: a Facebook application that will transform the way campaigns are conducted in the future. For supporters, the app appeared to be just another way to digitally connect to the campaign. But to the Windy City number crunchers, it was a game changer. “I think this will wind up being the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for this campaign,” says Teddy Goff, the Obama campaign’s digital director.
That’s because the more than 1 million Obama backers who signed up for the app gave the campaign permission to look at their Facebook friend lists. In an instant, the campaign had a way to see the hidden young voters. Roughly 85% of those without a listed phone number could be found in the uploaded friend lists. What’s more, Facebook offered an ideal way to reach them. “People don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations,” says Goff. “Who do they trust? Their friends.”
What a difference an election makes.
Now, a much less invasive use of the same information gathering goals is suddenly using ‘dark arts’.
The company at the centre of the Facebook data breach boasted of using honey traps, fake news campaigns and operations with ex-spies to swing election campaigns around the world, a new investigation reveals.
Executives from Cambridge Analytica spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.
Source: The Guardian
Sorry, guys. The internet is forever. We remember the cheerleading you did for Obama, and now that it’s Trump it’s ‘dark arts’.
You don’t get to have it both ways.
And in case you’ve forgotten, Facebook’s permissions step is a lot more selective now than it was back in 2008.
You get to pick what permissions they get.
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male
What Jim Acosta, Rachel Maddow and the Rest of The Media (D) STILL haven’t figured out yet is why we call them ‘Fake News’.
Let’s spell it out for them. In a shirt.
Because you know they won’t be able to figure it out on their own.
There’s a ladies’ version…
And a men’s version…
The problem isn’t just the lies they tell…
It’s the truth they DON’T tell…
And the opinions laced right through them.
And the best part? This shirt is made in the USA, printed in the USA, on an American-Made t-shirt press!
*** VETERAN OPERATED ***