Mainstream media’s breathless reports this week would have Americans believing President Donald Trump’s campaign “exploited” them in a Facebook “data breach” by hiring the firm Cambridge Analytica, but that hardly seems to be the case.
Trump’s presidential campaign hired Cambridge Analytica for voter research. They in turn had access to data on 50 million American voters through Facebook. Analytica’s sister company, Global Science Research (GSR), developed a quiz app through which Facebook users would consent to handing over access to their data.
Furthermore, Trump’s campaign wasn’t even the first to use this kind of data; it;s just the first to be criticized for doing so.
When Former President Barack Obama’s campaign did the same thing in 2012, the same Trump accusers hailed him as a visionary and a pathfinder.
“Barack Obama’s re-election team are building a vast digital data operation that for the first time combines a unified database on millions of Americans with the power of Facebook to target individual voters to a degree never achieved before,” The Guardian wrote in 2012. “Consciously or otherwise, the individual volunteer will be injecting all the information they store publicly on their Facebook page — home location, date of birth, interests and crucially, network of friends — directly into the central Obama database.”
Democrats are only making a big deal about this now because supposed misuse of data makes a great scapegoat for their 2016 embarrassment. Plus, their pressure on tech companies is translating into crackdowns on Conservatives, not the general public.
In the last two months alone, the Daily Caller has broken stories about both Google and Facebook burying conservative news sites in fraudulent fact checks while leaving equivalent left wing sites untouched.
Facebook finally took position in January, and they appear to have fallen squarely on the left side of the aisle. They implemented two changes to their news algorithm to boost “trusted” news outlets and suppress their competitors. Conservative and right-wing outlets were hit the hardest, while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected, according to a report from The Outline.
Facebook refuses to reveal which websites it’s boosting or suppressing. One thing is clear: Democrat pressure on social media giants has translated into disenfranchisement for conservatives on the internet, and Democrats show no signs of letting up.
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