Thursday, March 22, 2018

An Insiders Account Of How Cambridge Analytica Influenced Elections

Christ Wylie, the researcher director of SCL tells his story about how Cambridge Analytica (CA) evolved from SCL to provide it with an American brand.  Rebeca Mercer, the daughter of the billionaire hedge fund operator Robert Mercer, was the president of CA, and Steve Bannon was the vice president.  Richard Nix was the COO.  Mercer was particularly pleased with the results of the 2014 mid term elections in which Republicans, using information provided by CA,  did very well.  Many of the themes, were eventually used in the Trump campaign under Steve Bannon who became Trump's campaign manager in 2016.

CA hired a Russian American psychologist, Aleksandr Kogan, to use his personality test on Facebook users.  270,000 Facebook users took the test.  They also, unknowingly, provided CA with information on tens of millions of their Facebook friends. The data from Kogan's personality test were used by the Trump Campaign.  The data may also have found its way into Russia.  Kogan made regular trips to Russia and CA had briefed the Russian oil company Lukoil on the results of its research on American voters.

The rest of this article is about the issues that Wylie has had with Facebook about the use of user data that Facebook had asked him to delete.

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