Cambridge Analytica thread - I will be doing a long write up eventually, but for those who want the most interesting* parts of the latest leak, I will be putting that here:
*interesting as deemed by me, so, sorry. #DataPrivacyisAHumanRight
Part 1: Donors - There is a largely untold story about the grift of Brad Parscale and how he took credit for a lot of what Cambridge Analytica was doing
I want to highlight the following - the focus on donors was a CA idea that Brad Parscale stole, and built into his larger grift
"Under Mr. Parscale, more than $350 million — almost half of the $800 million spent — went to fund-raising operations, as no expense was spared in finding new donors online." https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/us/politics/trump-election-campaign-fundraising.html
Part 2 - I have written a bit before about behavioural microtargeting and Cambridge Analytica, but here it is, in their words
Part 3 - Recall that when you see an ad/article/pamphlet pulling you in a certain direction, it is usually a feeler for pulling you to a specific candidate/company in the end.
CA, and other platforms, pursue this model with big data because you. can. be. traced.
Part 4 - Make everything more partisan, drive people to their extremes (worked quite well, really)
Part 5 - Appears that Trump campaign was asking for a lot. Twice monthly analytical reports on supporter and donor profiles is a very ambitious pursuit of, er, monitoring your donors
There is irony the "anti-big-gov" candidate is, in fact, big on gathering data, on you
Part 6 - Paul Manafort was not just a huckster. I mean, he is a touch of a huckster, but do not let the narrative of 'dismissed huckster who danced to his own tune' be the main one at force. He was central to organising the whole party.
Part 7A - Polls suck. They really do. And CA may have the right idea about modern polling
See also this piece from Channel 4: https://www.channel4.com/news/trump-campaigners-confident-they-have-edge-in-battleground-state-of-pennsylvania
I'll probably call back to this (I kind of know what is coming ahead, but this is a 750 page document I am giving a reader's digest of) so let's just call back to Part 7B later.
Part 8 - But I thought absentee ballots were dangerous? (Heavy sarcasm)
Part 9 - A very interesting note on a survey CA conducted regarding the Clinton Foundation and the emails. There is a lot to take away on this one, but for the sake of the thread: How powerful is manipulated information and how damaging is resurrecting narratives, with a twist?
Part 9A - Clinton was, as many have said, one of the most unlikeable candidates in recent history.
Question for journalists: have we even been combatting misinformation correctly?
With regards to manipulated old-stories, I present this: https://popular.info/p/the-dirty-secret-behind-ben-shapiros
Part 10 - Freebie for anyone in the #OSINT
community and wants to do some research :)
Part 9B - Sorry, I want to add to this. MY GOODNE$$
I have noticed that there is a MASS effort put on combatting disinformation on Twitter, but not a lot on Snapchat and whatever TrueView is?
Are we journalists sure we have been doing this thing right?
Part 9C - What the actual heck are we doing?????????????????? I'll get back to the main point of this thread soon, but this report has some serious existential journalism dread that what is called 'journalism' is being done in a self-defeating, unhealthy, divisive manner.
Part 11 - Another fun experiment is to go through the archives of "@/HillarysCrooked" and relive the insanity that was 2016.
The twitter account gloating that it was ran by CA before shutting down is also fairly incredible
Part 12 - Cambridge Analytica workflow for the curious who want to know the ins and outs of how they worked.
Part 13A - Cambridge Analytica and emails between themselves and Facebook. Alex works for CA, while Allison works for Facebook.
Part 13B - In which Cambridge Analytica acknowledges they are indeed playing with personal data, and then shrug and proceed to try and use it elsewhere.
Part 14 - ATON Capital, a Russian investment co. founded in 1991
This was only a proposed contract and through these documents, we are unable to tell if a contract was signed.
Question is, does one do legitimate Russian financial business, ever?
Part 15 - Documents show there was, at least, negotiations between SCL and Ukraine (Zelensky) before the company dissolved. Re-sharing the below tweet explaining this. https://twitter.com/ACLHaynes/status/1317281817532059648?s=20
Part 16 - Cambridge Analytica was working with Trump's team long before it was public.
That being said, recall they were also working with Ted Cruz's campaign.
So was it same strategy and just working for the GOP (Mercers, specifically) and giving to the leading candidate?
This thread is becoming more and more just my rambling notes section
Part 17 - "legitimate dataset" knowingly using data that is, well, not legitimate
I mean, everyone knows this happened, but to see it in writing to Julian Wheatland is quite amusing.
Also, yes, Cambridge Analytica was deeply involved in the Leave EU campaign
Part 17A - I am amused by this email
Part 18 - Brittany Kaiser writing "Alexander [Nix], [Re]Bekah [Mercer] and Steve [Bannon] are best friends and founded our company together as the three of them..." is pretty telling of the aims of Cambridge Analytica
(Bottom of email, top included for context)
Part 19 - Phillip Escaravage was working hard to get the Libyan envoy position for a long-time and Kaiser was appearing to be of assistance. She offered to introduce him to Mohamed Bashir, one of the biggest investors in Africa.
Part 20 - The "I won crookedly but please don't tell because I won saying the other candidate was crooked" part of Cambridge Analytica denial
Part 21 - Rebekah Mercer got to meet with the Israeli Ambassador.
I'll let that one just sit here
Part 22 - THE PART THAT ISN'T REDACTED IS PROBABLY MEANT TO BE IN ALL CAPS
G I U L I A N I
Part 23 - A very, very important part - the legal firewall that Alexander Nix stated provided him protection against knowledge of wrongdoing and knowledge directly of the Parscale operations (that Nix was also really in charge of)
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