I sat over most of yesterday evening reading through the various bits and pieces of this 2016 election story involving Cambridge Analytica and
So ten observations:
1. While everyone is hyped up and talking about Cambridge Analytica being the ONLY company doing this.....that's mostly a laugh. There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of companies....which use social media data to predict trends with customers and the public. This is simply one of many.
2. Was Trump the first to use their services? No. Ted Cruz laid down $3-million for a brief period of 'customer support'. Ben Carson briefly used the services.
3. Facebook acting all shocked? About the most fake 'shocked' that you can get. Their whole future profit situation is dependent upon having stupid people post things, chat about friends, and take stupid pictures.....which can be viewed and 'graded' in some way. Then Facebook sells that information to someone for a bit of money for profit. If they yank this data collection business out....their profits drop and they marginally can survive.
4. Lobbyists have used various data sets over the past two-hundred years to get an advantage for products, referendums, and candidates. It's just that now.....in 2018....it's so easy to slip info on 100 million people and in a month...come up with positions that might entice 10-percent of the group to vote on something differently.
5. Will some idiots from the UK or US political establishment go after Cambridge Analytica? More than likely....but they will simply shut down their UK office and move to some country like Czech or Switzerland.
6. If you were really furious and wanted to make an effect against them? Delete your Facebook, Twitter, social media accounts.....and just live a simple quiet life.
7. Oddly, among the millions of accounts on Facebook, there are dozens (maybe hundreds) of accounts that lead back to 'Hank' the dog, or 'Cindy' the cat. So as Cambridge Analytica does its magic....somewhere in the middle is dog and cat information.
8. What did Cambridge Analytica really tap into? Anger and frustration existing. Something that Hillary and the Democratic Party probably weren't willing to pay a company to tell them that bit of information.
9. Are CNN, Fox News, Washington Post, or MSNBC any different? They are relying upon a psychological profile of the viewers/readers, and they hope enough will be around to view their product. So far, MSNBC and Fox have been correct. The Post is marginally profitable and require cash infusion from their owner. CNN? It's on the line of starvation.
10. Is there anything illegal about what Cambridge Analytica did? No. There might be new laws made but they will be crafted carefully around what Facebook desires. Is there anything unethical about what they did? No....they took public information that people wanted to share. From my home state of Alabama....I would take a guess of the 4.87-million people in the state....probably around 2.5 million have an account. Most folks in the state under the age of thirty (probably 95-percent) have an account. You can walk around and find various people in your community who aren't part of the data collected by Cambridge Analytica.
While journalists want to hype this and make you worried....the question...worried over what? You put all this data in public forums to be read....what did you expect would happen with that data?