The Cambridge Analytica affair has not yet closed the dirty strategies of Donald Trump’s campaign team. in the detection from Channel 4 newsWe learn that during the 2016 presidential campaign, a database called “Deterrence” (dissuasion in French) of more than 3 million African American people was used to dissuade them from voting.
Cambridge Analytica was a UK company specializing in the distribution of strategic campaigns. His sad fame was based on the scandal of collecting data from 50 million Facebook profiles without their consent. A little later this number will drop from 50 to 87 million. This data was reused to significantly refine the ad targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign ads. All with the aim of creating, to the surprise of the world, a deep rift that favors his choice. If Cambridge Analytica no longer exists today, it would appear that another company has taken over: Emerdata.
Mooncard, the French fintech that digitizes the public sector
In addition to the 50 million Facebook profiles Channel 4 was able to get my hands on databases that almost encompass 200 million American voters. They are divided into more than 5,000 files with a total weight of 5 TB. This is an astronomical amount of information that is used to aid audience algorithms. In addition, the poll shows that 8 categories of voters were created to be interviewed on social networks or elsewhere on the internet. One of these categories was called “deterrence,” and it focuses more on black Americans.
For example, the station shows that if this community makes up 32% of the population of the state of Georgia, it represents 61% of the residents present in the “deterrent” audience. In North Carolina, it’s 46%, while it represents just 22% of the local population and 17% versus 5.4% in Wisconsin. Across the database, 54% are labeled “Black”, “Hispanic”, “Asian” and “Other”.
Associations are already asking to be able to see the displays of the time, but is it possible to access them? Yes and no. Facebook waited until it was on the wall to give it a thorough rethink of how it works, both in terms of protecting user data and advertising rules (political or not). Unfortunately there was no ad library so ads were not archived and often they weren’t there to add to a post which would have made it easier to identify. In documents retrieved from Channel 4, Cambridge Analytica admits targeting African Americans in Georgia with content called “Predators Video” for a budget of $ 55,000.
These new revelations inevitably liven up the debate about the presence of political ads on social platforms. In addition to the targeted debate, there is the question of the democratic role of campaigns that keep voters from voting. It is all the more problematic when Facebook remains the last giant that does not make any specific decisions. On Twitter, for example, they have been banned since November 22, 2019, closely followed by Spotify. For its part, Google has restricted many parameters for ad targeting. A fact-checking is now mandatory for Snapchat.
Facebook’s position is very clear, whether it’s political ads or content moderation. The company already has its own rules does not want to be the “arbiter of truth”. It therefore expects the authorities of each country to impose on it what to do. A speech that still gives a certain freedom.