• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Sweet Sue on Impeachment part deux
    William on Impeachment part deux
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Impeachment part deux
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Impeachment part deux
    Propertius on Impeachment part deux
    centaur on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    centaur on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    centaur on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    alibe50 on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    bellecat on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    bellecat on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    lililam on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    William on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To impeach or not to impeach,…
    bellecat on To impeach or not to impeach,…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 20, 2019
      This post is by Tony Wikrent I have been looking at the work of Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett, who is serving as an economics adviser to Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. I have been delighted to find that Hockett has been working the same angle I have: applying the classical republicanism that informed the creation of […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

They mined you.

The Guardian has a long article about how Cambridge Analytica acquired data on Facebook users and then used it to help get Trump elected. I figured as much. If you took a personality test on Facebook, which millions of users did, 40% of you allowed Facebook to use that information in order to target ads to you. In 2016, Steve Bannon teamed up with Cambridge Analytica to change your mind about Trump. Here’s what Cambridge’s Christopher Wylie says Brannon’s philosophy and goal:

“[Bannon] got it immediately. He believes in the whole Andrew Breitbart doctrine that politics is downstream from culture, so to change politics you need to change culture. And fashion trends are a useful proxy for that. Trump is like a pair of Uggs, or Crocs, basically. So how do you get from people thinking ‘Ugh. Totally ugly’ to the moment when everyone is wearing them? That was the inflection point he was looking for.”

How do they do it? How did they target Facebook ads, and probably the whole Trump message directly to you, their targets? It’s all psychology and statistical analysis:

“at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, two psychologists, Michal Kosinski and David Stillwell, were experimenting with a way of studying personality – by quantifying it.

Starting in 2007, Stillwell, while a student, had devised various apps for Facebook, one of which, a personality quiz called myPersonality, had gone viral. Users were scored on “big five” personality traits – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism – and in exchange, 40% of them consented to give him access to their Facebook profiles. Suddenly, there was a way of measuring personality traits across the population and correlating scores against Facebook “likes” across millions of people.

The research was original, groundbreaking and had obvious possibilities. “They had a lot of approaches from the security services,” a member of the centre told me. “There was one called You Are What You Like and it was demonstrated to the intelligence services. And it showed these odd patterns; that, for example, people who liked ‘I hate Israel’ on Facebook also tended to like Nike shoes and KitKats.

So, if you are a Nike shoe buyer who likes KitKats, you probably didn’t get a pro-Israel message. On the other hand, if you were a mom who likes designer fashion and buys a status car, you probably got a lot of warm and fuzzy stories about Ivanka.

It was all very well designed to target you. I think the difference in what Cambridge did compared to what other political data and marketing companies did was that they were able to target people very specifically as well as all their Facebook friends. Most marketing companies go after just the neighborhoods or regions based on income etc. But who knows who will be scrutinized next? Maybe the info that you give Giant Eagle every time you buy a certain kind of apple or avoid the steaks can be used as well. That information is very important to people who want to influence you.

Well, at least Cambridge Analytica knew that Trump was an Ugg and they were going to have to push people to vote for him anyway. The question is, why were they trying to force this uniquely unfit man down our throats in order to ruin the country? Was it in service of Brannon’s chaos theory or was it in order to help the Russians? Or are we seeing a convergence of two efforts to get Trump elected that just happened to be reinforcing and synergistic?

Put that into your PLS model and spit out some principle components.

Advertisements