20 March 2018 — Moon of Alabama
by Debs is Dead
lifted from a comment
MoA-ites correctly distrust every word emanating from the mealy mouthed Guardian because it has been used in a vicious campaign to advance the interests of Zionists to the point where the well being of Guardian readers has been relegated below the interests of apartheid Israel.
Nevertheless having a bit of a shufti at the loudly trumpeted Facebook-Cambridge Analytica expose is an essential act for anyone who wants to try to get a grip on how populations are being deliberately manipulated.
There is a relatively easy to digest video here where Christopher Wyllie, a computer scientist, outlines the birth of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, the CEO and the method used to sell the development of the corporation to Steve Bannon, CA’s first customer and Robert Mercer, the Wall Street financier who underwrote the cost of setting up the corporation.
I recommend spending the 13 minutes required to watch the video because Wyllie’s summation of what they did and why is horrifying. Lines such as “If you want to change the way a person votes you have to change the culture the person lives within.” and “to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be”.
A computer scientist at Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan had been given privileged access by Facebook to conduct ‘academic research’ he had access to the entire range of any Facebook user’s account and that of all their Facebook friends. America was targeted first as that was what both Bannon and Mercer wanted – all set for the ’16 beauty contest’ aka ‘the presidential election’. Over a period of three months back in 2014 CA conned around 200,000 Facebook users into installing their app, 200,000 provided enough connection through Facebook friends to gather the profiles including private messages, of more than 50 million American Facebook users.
Nix went into the British parliament and told the puppets that CA have no Facebook data. This is the angle of attack the silly Grauniard is using and one which they will come unstuck on because CA have moved far beyond that initial scrape in 2014 where they gathered everything about every Facebook user. That was the ‘foundation’ and it has been built upon by nudging users down hand crafted rabbit holes for the last 4 years. The data has been re-categorised and reshaped, so that finding any traces of Facebook in it will probably be impossible.
CA has teams of psychologists, web site builders and videographers tasked with creating content which the users whose profiles have been mined will find ‘interesting’. Websites, Youtube videos and blogs were built to cater to each particular category of human the psychologists had identified.
Facebook doesn’t even really matter any more as the ‘clay’ has been shifted into their own special grouping and CA propagandists are whispering in each mug’s ear telling him/her exactly what will cause them to slightly alter their point of view about a product service, TV show or politician. Gently edging people onto a conveyor belt of predetermined values, encouraging them to only interact with other humans who share that outlook, the aim is to split social cohesion leaving the mug’s reliant on their category’s self reinforcing groupthink as the absolute truth. Iphone 57 users will only hang with people who agree Iphone 57 is the best.
Thomas Cook travel agency customers will plan their holidays with other Thomas Cook customers and supporters of the dem or rethug branch of the American empire party will no longer be discomfited by hearing alternative points of view.
That happened to 50 million American voters in 2016 and everyone is worrying about a couple of hundred grand spent long before the primaries on a handful of badly worded urges to buy some now defunct product which was responded to by only a handful of Americans?
Added: Channel 4 collaborated with the Guardian/Observer on the Cambridge Analytica story. Their report, ‘Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks’ includes undercover video of Cambridge Analytica’s sales pitch:
- Part 1: Cambridge Analytica: Whistleblower reveals data grab of 50 million Facebook profiles
- Part 2: Cambridge Analytica Uncovered: Secret filming reveals election tricks
- Part 3: The Trump campaign
b here: In my opinion, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL do nothing else than the powers-that-be have done for ages. They only privatize and commercialize the tools that have been used all along. During the Cold War (and likely continuing today) the CIA ran up to 400 journalists and editors in “western” media. It promoted abstract art and ‘progressive’ counter culture, financed the publishing of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and so on. The Pentagon rewrites movie scripts and helps financing many Hollywood blockbusters and TV series. They did not need Facebook to ‘sell’ the war on Iraq.
Yasha Levine’s new book Surveillance Valley describes how the Internet grew out of the Pentagon’s Vietnam War era counterinsurgency projects as a tool for surveillance and manipulation. It was privatized but all the big Internet companies, Google, Amazon, Facebook etc, are now Pentagon and CIA contractors who help to expand the original project. SCL and Cambridge Analytica are part of this.
But the real question is how well these new projects work. Yes, advertising can sell a product. ‘News’ can change opinions. But they can only do so to a certain degree or for a limited time. Eskimos do not need refrigerators. Counterinsurgency campaigns usually fail. The Internet companies claim that advertising on their channels works extraordinary well because they can categorize the ‘eyeballs’ they attract by the data their users ‘voluntarily’ supply. Cambridge Analytica claims it can efficiently manipulate whole nations on a similar base. These companies sell snake-oil. Their claims are made out of self-interest. I for one doubt them.
Posted by b on March 20, 2018 at 05:01 AM | Permalink