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Donald Trump and the Trouble with Facebook

Here's a brief look at how Donald Trump's team used Facebook in the 2016 USA Presidential Election campaign, the role Cambridge Analytica played and how increasingly targeted and subjective 'news' is impacting trust and consumption behaviours.

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Donald Trump and the Trouble with Facebook

  2. 2. Introducing psychologist Michal Kosinski, an expert in psychometrics While at Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Michal developed a way to assess Facebook accounts based on the O.C.E.A.N. psychometric model He compared results from the MyPersonality app the team developed with other aspects of users’ Facebook profile He proved that from 68 Facebook "likes" by a user, it was possible to predict their skin color (with 95 percent accuracy), their sexual orientation (88 percent accuracy), and their affiliation to the Democratic or Republican party (85 percent) Cambridge University Psychometric Centre
  3. 3. 10 Likes = better than your colleagues 70 Likes = better than your friends 150 Likes = better than your parents 300 Likes = better than your partner On the day that Kosinski published these findings, he received two phone calls. The threat of a lawsuit and a job offer. Both from Facebook.
  4. 4. MyPersonality (O.C.E.A.N.) Like Analysis Essentially, what Kosinski had invented was sort of a people search engine. He began to add warnings to most of his scientific work. His approach, he warned, "could pose a threat to an individual's well-being, freedom, or even life." But no one seemed to grasp what he meant.
  5. 5. Strategic Communication Laboratory approached Konsinski asking for access to MyPersonality database – but wouldn’t say why "[We are] the premier election management agency," says the company's website. SCL provides marketing based on psychological modeling. One of its core focuses: Influencing elections. Who exactly owns SCL and its diverse branches is unclear, thanks to a convoluted corporate structure. And, in 2013, SCL spun off a new company to participate in US elections: Cambridge Analytica.
  6. 6. In 2015 Nigel Farage announced that Leave.EU had commissioned Cambridge Analytica to support its online Brexit campaign The words “Cambridge” and “analytics” made people think of Konsinski and people started asking him what he had to do with it After the referendum result he was forced to explain that he had nothing to do with Cambridge Analytica Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix would later become the Trump presidential campaign’s digital strategy lead Enter Cambridge Analytica
  7. 7. Trump's striking inconsistencies, his much-criticized fickleness, and the resulting array of contradictory messages, suddenly turned out to be his great asset: a different message for every voter "For a highly neurotic and conscientious audience the threat of a burglary—and the insurance policy of a gun." An image on the left shows the hand of an intruder smashing a window. The right side shows a man and a child standing in a field at sunset, both holding guns, clearly shooting ducks: "Conversely, for a closed and agreeable audience. People who care about tradition, and habits, and family."
  8. 8. Search Serve The Ages of Internet Discovery Share Some think of three stages of internet content discovery – first we shared things, then search engines arrived, then the SE were gamed and we are served things – there’s a ‘filter bubble’ which limits our freedom to discover. Can an authentic experience of the connected world and the Filter Bubble coexist?
  9. 9. The Algorithm Told Me To Do It Facebook was very influential during the 2016 presidential election campaign
  10. 10. The Deleterious Effect of Fake News Media trust has been eroded
  11. 11. There’s still hope But younger people are suspicious of ‘social news’
  12. 12. In the meantime, Cambridge Analytica have thaken their Brexit and Trump case studies to populist right wing movements across Europe
  13. 13. Steve Bannon, former executive chair of alt-right site Breitbart News and Trump’s senior counselor and chief strategist – and board member of Cambridge Analytica
  14. 14. "Obviously, it is not big data analytics that wins the election…Candidates do. “We don't know how much his victory was helped by big data analytics.” Michal Kosinski
  15. 15. WHAT DO YOU THINK?