Cambridge Analytics: Donald Trump And The 2016 Presidential Election

Channel 4 News in Britain has released another piece from its undercover investigation into the clandestine activities of the well-connected British data-gathering firm, Cambridge Analytics (CA). The new clip focuses on the company’s claims that it aided and directed the successful campaign of the right-wing candidate, Donald Trump, in the 2016 American presidential election. That matter aside, just as interesting has been the reaction to the controversy from certain internet “influencers”, notably those operating on YouTube and Twitter. While these personalities have not sprung to the defence of CA, indeed they have been deliberately quite critical of the organisation, they have also floated the idea that what we witnessed in the surreptitious recordings was empty boasting. That is, senior members of Cambridge Analytics exaggerating their role and abilities in order to impress and secure new clients. I have seen this idea expressed by quite a few well-known figures on various platforms and in a surprisingly similar manner. Enough, at least, to make one wonder if the firm’s PR teams have been working overtime on a clever bit of damage limitation?

 

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3 comments

  1. Well, considering the Orangutan had 3 million+ less votes, they failed miserably, along with all the other “influencers” and “organisers.” Brexit was the result of people who were eligible to vote, simply not voting. Trump was the result of people who didn’t vote before going to the polls, because a corrupt, arrogant, guttersnipe decided to deride them as “deplorable” and told them she would shut down the last few industries they were surviving on. The U.S. election would have gone very well for Sanders, and just about for anyone aside from Clinton. This constant search for the cause of Clinton’s loss, including this influencing the minds with skillfully twisted advertisement by whomever, is beginning to move into the realm of tin-foil hat conspiracies. Her campaign used the same methods, they just used different players. Digging up dirt on the other guy is really nothing new. Nor is throwing shit to see what sticks. The election was lost to because the Democrats insisted on Clinton, to the point of illegally disadvantaging Sanders (betraying boat-loads of their voters), and Clinton was just that much less likable than Trump. They really need to focus on the future and align themselves with their voters’ wishes. Continuing their “extreme” agendas in light of their fairly centrist base, for example, is not going to help them.

    1. Yes, but in the key three or four state, the online campaigns seem to have played some part, even if its effects are exaggerated. To this you have to add the murkiness of the whole affair. Wheels within wheels within wheels.

      That said, Irish republicans have something to learn. They are fighting the wrong battles. Hearts and minds is where it’s at. Creating our own narrative and making it mainstream. Or at least close enough to become an accepted current in the mainstream.

  2. True, first of all, the in-fighting has to stop. Then back to the basics. The lack of a unified approach (or a singular narrative) has always been one of the biggest issues.

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