Unthinkingly un-critical, cult-like Trump supporters don’t realize that they have been socially engineered, their behaviour, opinions and beliefs modified. Essentially, they have been brainwashed by sophisticated algorithms deployed by companies like U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica and Alamo. Both companies operate through data-mining and planting fake news and propaganda on the pages of people who have revealed themselves, primarily through their record of ‘Likes,’ to have a vulnerability, or susceptibility, toward some easily exploited and manipulated bias or fear — pro-Brexit bias among Americans or Canadians, for example, predisposing them to certain planted misinformation and propaganda privileging authoritarian trends, or evidence of subconscious misogynistic beliefs, anti-feminism, or incipient racism. These inclinations, though thought by their hosts to be private, or even held secret, are very evident to the company psychologists and behavioural scientists analysing the true cash product of ‘free’ social networks, the users’ mined data. Evidence of gun collection, NRA membership, or search patterns for gun enthusiasts will provide a basis for targeted ads and ‘news’ stories in a social network account. From as few as 5000 increments of mined data on any individual’s online activity, psychographic profilers claim to know what your next move will be a good deal earlier than you do.
Cambridge Analytica, the London-based outfit that boasts an ability to target voters based on their unconscious psychological biases, worked behind the scenes both the Vote Leave campaign and the Trump campaign. the campaign director of Vote Leave for the Brexit referendum has said of their strategical deployment of Cambridge Analytica, “If you want to make big improvements in communication- hire physicists.”
Claiming to have built psychological profiles using 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica algorithms knew their quirks and nuances and daily habits and was able to target them individually. “They were using 40–50,000 different variants of ad every day that were continuously measuring responses and then adapting and evolving based on that response,” according to Martin Moore of Kings College (Cadwalladr, Dec. 4, 2016). Because these companies have so much data on individuals and they use such phenomenally powerful distribution networks, they enable campaigns to bypass a lot of existing laws. “It’s all done completely opaquely, and they can spend as much money as they like on particular locations. Fake news is important but it’s only one part of it. These companies have found a way of transgressing 150 years of legislation that we’ve developed to make elections fair and open”.
Cambridge Analytica the company, which revolutionized the American political scene in 2012, boasts of its ability to assemble so-called psychographic profiles of American voters based on five dominant personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. It then targets them with uniquely crafted messages based on their digitally revealed unconscious biases. Their emphasis on psychology differentiates them as a company from traditional data firms that specialize in ‘microtargeting,’ which tracks consumer data and behaviour to target voters. Cambridge Analytica’s method was, wrote Bloomberg’s Sasha Issenberg, “the most audacious new analytical innovation foisted on American politics this year” (Ibid.). On its website, the company advertises, “a comprehensive range of analytics and engagement services are proven game changers that deliver smart solutions and produce real results,” including, “Data Acquisition, Predictive Analytics, Audience Insight and Digital Marketing.
Full article, Yvonne Owens, Medium.com 24. 03.2018
(See also, Carole Cadwalladr, Dec. 4, 2016). On Google)