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Over the past couple weeks I've been doing a lot of deeper reading that all seems to connect together in extremely troubling fashion. It's becoming obvious that Russia "hacked the election" in ways that make the DNC's email servers into a complete sideshow. Here's a good quick backgrounder on one substantial piece of the puzzle.http://heatst.com/tech/peter-thiel-trump-and-facebook-vs-cambridge-analyticas-steve-bannon/The lowdown: SCL/Cambridge Analytica (now believed to be operating in part, if not fully, with the cooperation or at the explicit direction of Russian foreign intelligence) has a database of psychological intelligence on at least 40 million individual US Facebook users, based on psychological profiling that accurately determines highly operable personality aspects, which it sold to the Trump campaign under the direction of Steve Bannon. It's additionally believed that Russian-fronted hackers illegally accessed FB user data, with the very obvious presumed goal of feeding that same data into this same psychological analysis engine.SCL Group, whose stated purpose is "behavioral change communications," (if you weren't already creeped out) used this data to not only create but far more critically target largely Russian-made fake news at those who would be most susceptible to it. It knows not only the geographical location but also the political alignment, susceptibility, income levels, motivation level, extroversion/introversion, and who knows what else about these individuals. And that's just by mining through organically-created user data. Your "likes" alone provide them an almost complete picture... they don't even have to tell you.Now, those same techniques are of course not going to be suspended because the election is over. For example, it now appears as if Trump is fully intent on advancing his portrayal of undocumented immigrants as the villain underclass bogeyman of society. Those communications, of course, will be targeted at those most willing to hear it, repeat it, and argue on its behalf so that as this entire thing goes to shit, people start to know exactly who to lay the blame at, because it's being virtue-signalled throughout their network of trust. Ideas self-reinforce from there. I somehow doubt we'll ever fully understand what's been done and what is being done, but it's starting very much to sound like a deep endgame. I remember when conspiracy theories used to be harmless and fun. Now we're in a position where Marketing research poses existential risks to freedom.If the Trump campaign felt a bit like Brexit, by the way, it's worth noting that the Brexit campaign also hired Cambridge Analytica. Of course, it's widely suspected that the Russians were deeply invested in Brexit, as well... [loop back to top](It's also probably worth noting that Cambridge was also heavily infiltrated by Russian agents in the years during and after WW2. That's where they recruited Kim Philby, among other things.)
Thanks for the interesting post.I agree completely with the impact SCL/Cambridge Analytics had on the election but disagree about the depth of Russian involvement in this. I'd be wary of using sacked Louise Mensch from Murdoch-owned heat st as a reliable source for anything. That article seemed more a weird kind of deferential defence of Thiel & Palantir as much as it was a critique CA. Thiel is a board member of Facebook, vocal Trump supporter and should be held accountable as much as anyone for conflict of interests.Incidentally, although the company name is 'Cambridge' it's based in London and run by a Nigel Oakes, a TV advert executive. Insinuating any links to the Philby-esque world of Oxbridge spooks from the name alone is misleading.Maybe you've read this article already How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election but I think it paints a more detailed and accurate depiction of how 'Project Alamo' was created — aggregating RNC/Tea Party/Trump Mailing + Experian/Datalogix/Epsilon/Axciom Corp for over 220m identities and 4-5K datapoints on each. This couldn't have been achieved without Facebook's social graph and reach.The fact that Kushner and Bannon were intimately involved in managing this project is important. Their goals included massively depressing voter turnout through targeting negative campaigns, dictating Trump's itinerary for maximum impact, optimising fund-raising and several other key strategies.Joel WinstonTrump’s animated “super predator” political advertisement was delivered to certain African American voters via Facebook “dark posts” — nonpublic paid posts shown only to the Facebook users that Trump chose....Statistical models from Cambridge Analytica also dictated Trump’s travel itinerary. The locations of Trump’s campaign rallies, the centerpiece of his media-centric candidacy, were chosen by a Cambridge Analytica algorithm that ranked places in a state with the largest clusters of persuadable voters.So, up to this point I definitely agree with you, CA & Facebook had a huge (defining?) impact on the election. When you consider that despite all the hype, Trump's turnout was historically incredibly low — it was just Hillary's was even lower. It's obviously easier provide people with a justification not to vote, than to enthuse them enough to line up for hours to exercise their democratic right.However, it's also pretty clear that whilst there have been plenty of disturbing links (Manafort, Flynn etc etc) uncovered which connect Russia to the Trump administration there has also been a huge tendency to assume, without evidence, that any event which feels counter to some presupposed American 'values' must therefore, somehow, have been instigated by an external agent. In this election that agent has almost always meant Russia.This may make for a more intellectually satisfying rationale for such events to the American psyche but without solid evidence it is counter productive in it's refusal to address the—even more concerning—reality. For, as long the finger is pointed exclusively at Russia, self-examination doesn't occur and denial remains. We can see this manifested in the current lack of introspection being shown by the DNC and the vacuum of effective opposition.So I think it is more important and useful to consider that maybe this occurred without the need for some malevolent foreign power to have intervened. In fact, maybe this is just how the system which we have collectively built now functions when operating as intended. Let me put it this way (whilst the implications are truly disturbing) SGL/CA are essentially a profit-motivated apolitical companies that sell technology enabling political parties to manipulate their voting populace with a precision and reach never seen before. They rely on other 3rd party companies to aggregate the data on those individuals and predominantly Facebook—which allows advertisers to target their audience segment by, for example, ethnicity—to disseminate that analysis. This is all pretty standard stuff to any media buyer that defines a strategy for targeted ad spending.I think the statement that most accurately reflects the true motivations and the impact it had on the outcome of this election is this.Joel Winston“I wouldn’t have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn’t known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine,” says the Trump campaign Chairman Steve Bannon. (Bannon is also a Board Member of Cambridge Analytica.) “Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power.”TL;DR The people flying this plane are home-grown US White Supremacists, not some Russian puppet master.
Joel WinstonTrump’s animated “super predator” political advertisement was delivered to certain African American voters via Facebook “dark posts” — nonpublic paid posts shown only to the Facebook users that Trump chose....Statistical models from Cambridge Analytica also dictated Trump’s travel itinerary. The locations of Trump’s campaign rallies, the centerpiece of his media-centric candidacy, were chosen by a Cambridge Analytica algorithm that ranked places in a state with the largest clusters of persuadable voters.
Joel Winston“I wouldn’t have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn’t known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine,” says the Trump campaign Chairman Steve Bannon. (Bannon is also a Board Member of Cambridge Analytica.) “Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power.”
blueshead said:Figure we can all post our Trump shit here instead of multi threads.. :)[…]
Figure we can all post our Trump shit here instead of multi threads.. :)[…]
Vaskerville said:wtf is this war on immigrants? does the guy know anything about our history? holy moly...
wtf is this war on immigrants? does the guy know anything about our history? holy moly...
WASHINGTON ― In a stunning announcement Monday afternoon, acting AttorneyGeneral Sally Yates said the Justice Department won’t defend PresidentDonald Trump’s executive order blocking all refugees and certain foreignnationals.“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in courtremain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to alwaysseek justice and stand for what is right,” Yates, an appointee of formerPresident Barack Obama, wrote to Justice Department lawyers, the NewYork Times first reported. “At present, I am not convinced that thedefense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilitiesnor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”
Hours later, she was fired. The White House said Yates "has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States" and portrayed her actions as political.
Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid," the State Department said, adding that it is working with the Department of Homeland Security to enforce the move.On Saturday, normal air service resumed following the judge's decision, which Trump blasted in a series of tweets as "ridiculous."
Trump himself expressed his dismay at the court ruling in a series of tweets on Saturday morning, saying "the opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"