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Did Cambridge Analytica help Russian sow discord in USA?

  1. ptosis profile image80
    ptosisposted 2 weeks ago

    The "million-dollar question" about the Facebook ads centered on how the Russians knew whom to target. How did the Russians knew where to direct their ads? The Russian bought Facebook ads to amplify political discord.

    The ads were bought through Facebook's self-service ad model, which allows buyers to target their ads to users based on several criteria, including geographic location, demographic categories and specific interests. - http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/media/f … index.html


    https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/13719823.png

    Cambridge Analytica, achieved notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns via  psychological operations — the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’.

    Michael Flynn, held a brief advisory role with the firm.
    Steve Bannon was once VP of Cambridge Analytica.
    Robert Mercer owns CA, who back DJT after dumping Ted Cruz



    Tump's campaign’s former digital director ,Brad Parscale has agreed to an interview with the House Intelligence Committee.
    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/13719828.jpg

    During the campaign, the Trump campaign ran up to 50,000 variants of its Facebook ads a day, learning which ones resonated best with voters. It also deployed so-called “dark posts,” non-public paid posts that only appear in the News Feeds of the people the advertiser chooses.

    Between lax campaign finance laws that don’t require digital platforms to disclose who’s paying for ads and social media platforms’ ability to target people based on age, gender, location, and interests, finding the right voters to bombard with propaganda isn’t all that difficult.

    The chain of psychological influences results in a closed down, inward spiraling, ever-reducing field of information, that shores up existing beliefs and countermands ‘other’ identified ideas, in a cognitive syndrome called ‘epistemic closure.’ - https://www.wired.com/story/trump-russi … -facebook/

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ … -democracy

    The Tragic Tale of Micro-Targeting and Mass Coercion that Elected Donald Trump
    “[a]n FBI raid of a harmless-sounding company blossomed into a full-fledged trail of swampy tracks that led directly back to the Trump administration. ”  -

    https://medium.com/@yewtree2/the-tragic … 0dbd740d0a

    The role of deliberate misinformation seeding chaos and confusion in order to groom a malleable public. Many of Trump’s staffers are from “an opaque corporate misinformation network,” conceding that Trump’s politics are incoherent, but insisting that those who surround the president-elect know just what they want, and that his lack of clarity enhances their power (Monbiot, November 30, 2016).

    1. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      This is not new news. Both sides are taking advantage of this. That is why there is a push to create accountability on the web and to include web advertising as campaign spending. Nothing new here.

      1. ptosis profile image80
        ptosisposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Are you saying that politics is so rotten to the core, filled with so many cheaters that breaking the rules is the only viable way to compete?

        Is it OK, morally permissible, to break the rules when everyone else is doing it? While the “Everybody’s Doing It Excuse,” does not necessarily legitimate the bad behavior, it certainly does make the law impossible to enforce. 

        Still remember Nixon prolonging the war for political purposes with the help of the war criminal Kissinger who extended the Vietnam War, laid the path to the Khmer Rouge killing fields, stage-managed a genocide in East Timor, overthrew the democratically elected left-wing government in Chile, and encouraged Nixon to wiretap his political adversaries.

        But Hey! it's OK! Everybody is Doing IT!


        "old news" is still impacting us today:

        "A website built by researchers working with the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic project to counter Russian disinformation, showed tweets promoting both sides of the football debate from 600 accounts that analysts identified as users who spread Russian propaganda on Twitter."

        Ol Bone spurs tweets 4 days about NFL while ignoring PR hurricane damage.


        https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/13720057.jpg

        1. Live to Learn profile image81
          Live to Learnposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          No. If you have read anything i've said on these forums you'll know that I think the system is irrevocably broken to the point that a complete overhaul needs to be done. We can't trust the politicians to do it because they are all an integral part of the system and have gained office by using it.

    2. GA Anderson profile image82
      GA Andersonposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Hi ptosis, surely it seems the answer to your "million dollar" question is the simple process of data mining - just like almost every smart marketer uses to pinpoint the best audience for his ads, (or her of course).

      Are you implying a crime or nefarious action in your post? Or are you just lamenting the use of technology by someone not deemed "the good guys?"

      GA

      1. ptosis profile image80
        ptosisposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Depends on who is doing it. Domestic propaganda is totally legal. Outside Interfernce  .... depends on what law you are referring to.

        We've all seen ads about 'out of state interests' pouring money into a local campaign. Usually in the vernacular of, ' don't let outsiders influence you vote'.

        1. GA Anderson profile image82
          GA Andersonposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          I wasn't referring to any law ptosis. My question was if you were.

          GA

  2. PrettyPanther profile image85
    PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks ago

    A certain type of individual is particularly susceptible to false information.  Studies have shown this particular type of individual is likely to be religious, non-college-educated, conservative, Republican, intolerant, tribal, and white.

    Sound like any demographic we know?

    I saw it during the campaign.  My friends and family sharing and getting outraged over false information and false websites.  I tried to tell them, but they don't think for themselves.  They believe liberals are brainwashed, but the fact is, it is WAY more likely for fundamental Christian conservatives to buy into false information.

    Also, I saw an interview of a gentleman from an Eastern European country who created websites that appeal to American conservatives and American liberals.  The writers for these websites created news stories out of thin air and spread them all over social media.  He gave up on the liberal sites because they weren't making him any money.  In other words, liberals weren't buying into it enough.  Conservatives, on the other hand....easily duped cash cows.

    Just sayin'.

    I'm sure we'll have a chorus of Trumpeters getting all butthurt, but the facts are the facts.  We see varying degrees of the buy in to misinformation here on these forums. 

    "Not a shred of evidence."

    I ran into a friend of mine who I hadn't seen since before the election.  Young conservative Christian.  He regrets voting for Trump.  We had a conversation.  I mentioned the Mueller investigation.  He said, "what is that?"  I responded, "Really?  You don't know?"  He didn't know.  I explained it to him.  As we talked, there was a slight glimmer of a memory of Comey being fired, but nothing else.

    All I can say is, "wow."

    1. ptosis profile image80
      ptosisposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Don't feel so smug.. Everybody gets fooled at sometime and dividing people up as if single dimensional is .... Well wrong in the sense that not everybody is a robot. Even happened to head of CIA with his friend in MI6 who was working for the Russians 40 years ago.

      Always ask yourself these questions when trying to verify information?:

      Who says?
      “How do they know?”
      “Are they biased?”
      “What don’t I know?

      1. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        I do not feel smug.  I feel sad.  We have an insane clown for president because a large segment of our country are too lazy to pay attention to the details.

    2. GA Anderson profile image82
      GA Andersonposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Hi PrettyPanther, I doubt that you are saying that those "religious, non-college-educated, conservative, Republican, intolerant, tribal whites" have a monopoly on confirmation bias, but I did wonder if you might consider that your quoted explanation and personal anecdotal experiences could point to a perspective that those same folks might not be the involved political junkies that we are?

      Could those mentioned folks have different life interests, time constraints, and accessibility priorities then we do? Or are they just not as enlightened as most liberals?

      ps. anytime I see someone label a group as intolerant my "spidey sense" starts tingling - a sure warning sign that all may not be what it seems.

      GA

      1. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        "Hi PrettyPanther, I doubt that you are saying that those "religious, non-college-educated, conservative, Republican, intolerant, tribal whites" have a monopoly on confirmation bias...."  You doubt right.  No one has a monopoly on confirmation bias.  However, I wasn't really addressing confirmation bias.  I was addressing the unwillingness or inability to differentiate truth from fiction; the ease with which some people will accept www.conservativenutjobyellsloudly.com as a reputable website.  Yes, some of that is because of confirmation bias, but a lot of it is lack of education or lack of critical thinking skills or just laziness.

        but I did wonder if you might consider that your quoted explanation and personal anecdotal experiences could point to a perspective that those same folks might not be the involved political junkies that we are?  Well, I don't think you have to be a political junkie to know about the Mueller investigation, but then maybe my low bar for being a reasonably informed citizen is higher than yours?

        "Could those mentioned folks have different life interests, time constraints, and accessibility priorities then we do? Or are they just not as enlightened as most liberals?"  I'm sure they do have different life interests....yada yada, and I never said liberals are more enlightened.  However, if you're going to cast a vote, perhaps you ought to have some knowledge about the issue or candidate.  If you're not interested or don't have time to gain that knowledge, then you're being not just a bad citizen but a dangerous one.

        "ps. anytime I see someone label a group as intolerant my "spidey sense" starts tingling - a sure warning sign that all may not be what it seems."  Yes, yes, anytime anyone breathes a mention that a certain demographic is more intolerant than another, your spidey sense starts tingling.  Or, could it be your whitey sense gets a little jiggly?  (Do you like my little pun?  I think it's darn nifty). 

        In any case, numerous studies have identified where the intolerant people tend to lie politically.  If you take issue with those studies, fine.  Some of them are well constructed studies, some are not.  But, your tingling spidey sense, while quite convincing to you, is not enough justification for me to reject what scholars have found in their quest to understand human nature

        Love ya,
        Sandy

    3. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Funny, because I listened to a segment on PRI and those attempting to track these had asked Facebook users to put in a tiny algorithm so they could monitor ads on their feed and determine if they were political or not. The ones they spoke of on the segment were left leaning ads which were void of fact and attempts to foment fear.

      Bias is what keeps us from doing anything about the problem. 'You are the problem, not me' is what binds us as a nation in a quagmire.

      1. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Can you direct me to that segment? I am interested in listening to it. I assume PRI is Public Radio International?

        1. Live to Learn profile image81
          Live to Learnposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          Yes. Public Radio International. I listen to it about 2 hours a day during commutes. I don't know which segment. I don't think it was Fresh Air but could have been sorry. Or, All Things Considered. I do know it was a left leaning group who are attempting to determine how much and how often. The woman said something about attempting to partner with some right wing news group to get more Facebook users to let them monitor their ads.

      2. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Would you agree that one cannot fix a problem until one acknowledges the problem exists?

        1. Live to Learn profile image81
          Live to Learnposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          We all agree the problem exists. What we don't agree with is who is being hoodwinked and manipulated. Insisting that only one group is allowing themselves to be played the victim and calling them things such as ignorant, racist, backward, uneducated etc for being led (when both sides suffer from the same problem) does little to pull us together. A statement such as yours Studies have shown this particular type of individual is likely to be religious, non-college-educated, conservative, Republican, intolerant, tribal, and white. is equally divisive.

          I did notice that the bit on PRI went through a hoop or two to insist that it wasn't a unique problem among liberals, even thought that is all they had evidence for. I have no problem with that since I believe the problem exists across the board. I wonder if some liberals (you included) would get the same take out of the piece, had it gone the opposite way. I doubt it

          1. PrettyPanther profile image85
            PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            Again, can you direct me to the piece?  I would like to hear it. I tried finding it but couldn't

            And, no, not everyone acknowledges the problem exists, most notably the president.

            As for my "divisive" statement, did you take note of the "tend to be" part of the statement? It is an accurate statement based upon multiple studies  As I told GA, if you take issue with the studies, that is your prerogative. Some are well constructed studies, some are not. However, certain characteristics have consistently been identified to be associated with certain political affiliations. Liberals, for example, are statistically less satisfied with their lives than conservatives. I don't consider results of scholarly investigation to be "divisive" just because the results are unfavorable toward a particular demographic of which I am a member. Rather, let's use the information to educate and reform.

            After all, one cannot fix a problem until one acknowledges the problem exists, right?

            1. PrettyPanther profile image85
              PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              Okay, I found this story and listened to the interview.  https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-09-07/ … -divisions

              The only reference I could find to anything remotely regarding left or right was this, and it's paraphrased.  The guest was referring to the placement of Facebook ads, by Russia, that focused on controversial issues such as immigration or gun control.

              "By this they can basically create the impression that everything is falling apart and those candidates which Russia considers to be preferable such as the Trump campaign and [unintelligible, but a reference to a European candidate, I think], those would benefit from such a situation."

              Was there another story I couldn't find that referenced what you described?  I would like to listen to it, if you can point me to it.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                Don't know about you, PP, but I would look at the phrase "such as the Trump campaign and [unintelligible, but a reference to a European candidate, I think]" and decide that at best this will be one sided, is almost certain to be badly spun and quite possibly an outright lie.  I look for crap like that, pointing to an opinion that is desired I accept as true, when deciding if something is worth reading.  The only reason to include that particular bit is to insinuate the idea that Russian worked to get Trump elected.

                Or was that the thrust of the entire article?  That Russia performed actions designed to elect Trump (and whoever else it was)?  They repeatedly said that the ads were "amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum,", not a specific candidate, indicating otherwise...

                1. PrettyPanther profile image85
                  PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                  I'm just quoting what the guy said. What I'm really interested in is what Live to Learn said she heard on PRI, which I've not been able to find.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Sorry - haven't been following your discussion with LTL.  Just commented on the quote as it's something I really do look for any more - an obvious bias that tells me that any information will be of questionable value.

 
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