Cambridge Analytica non-Event

In March 2018,  Ben Shapiro published in DailyWire a remarkable and prescient  (in regard to Facebook) article Cambridge Analytica And The Campaign To Destroy Conservatives On Social Media.

On Sunday, The Guardian (UK) ran a much-ballyhooed “expose” about the nefarious technological activities of Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Actually, this news broke in 2015, and Facebook blocked access by Cambridge Analytica, Aleksandr Kogan, and related persons. Serving old stories as breaking news is a frequent dirty trick used by the Fake News.

Facebook, upon finding out about this non-illegal, rather common internet activity, promptly suspended Cambridge Analytica. Which makes sense, since this entire scandal is designed to pressure Facebook into cracking down on supposed right-wing activity.

Actually, it is an ordinary way in which Facebook violated privacy of its users. Facebook allowed thousands of companies to harvest personal users’ data this way.

This is part of a broader pattern: Democrats, enraged at Trump’s election, have targeted social media as the supposed nexus in a corrupt scheme to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. They tacitly threaten legislative crackdowns. Then those social media companies, which lean left anyway, crack down on right-wingers. Voila! Problem solved. It’s no coincidence that Democratic officials have spent an inordinate amount of time jabbering about idiotic pro-Trump memes on Facebook, posted by Russians and seen by virtually no one [but ignored anti-Trump and anti-GOP posts]; it’s no coincidence Democrats keep complaining about “fake news,” by which they mean “news we don’t agree with.” The goal isn’t to stop Russian interference, but to push Facebook to stop allowing non-Democratic-approved content. And Facebook has complied.

And this is the main point.

This latest story on Cambridge Analytica is just part of a larger attempt to convince social media companies that the best way to fly under the radar is to shut down conservative opinions — and the Leftists who run Silicon Valley are more than likely to embrace that solution, even as they claim they’re merely attempting political neutrality. It’s not a coincidence that Facebook’s new algorithms have slammed conservative Facebook traffic. It’s not a coincidence that YouTube seems to demonetize conservative videos. It’s not a coincidence that Twitter suspends Steven Crowder but recommends that others follow Louis Farrakhan. We’re watching the social media crackdown on the Right take place in real time.

In March 2018,  Ben Shapiro succinctly described the hypocritical media frenzy around Facebook data mining by Cambridge Analytica in The Hill: What’s genius for Obama is scandal when it comes to Trump. Dave Boyer wrote in The Washington Times on that pseudo-scandal:  “This sounds scary to a lot of people because the name ‘Trump‘ is attached to it,” Republican digital strategist Patrick Ruffini said. “In reality, this was being done first by the Obama campaign in 2012″. 

The Trump campaign didn’t use Cambridge Analytica in the elections, although used it in primaries. From The RedState, This Is Embarassing. The Trump Campaign Did Not Use Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook Data In The General Election: “Cambridge Analytica instead was a hedge against the RNC, in case it wouldn’t share its data.

The entire Cambridge Analytica affair was a non-event. It was embellished and launched as a media event by The New York Times and The Guardian. Both were also cheerleaders for Chris Steele, and The Guardian’s reporter Luke Harding was an associate of Steele’s firm Orbis Business Intelligence. Yaacov Apelbaum noted:

[Glen Simpson’s wife] Jacoby knew and worked with Christopher Steele, Nellie Ohr, Peter Strzok and his wife Melissa Hodgman—the Associate Director in SEC Enforcement Division, Peter Fritsch, Neil King Jr. and his wife Shailagh Murray, David Kramer, Jonathan Winer, and Sidney Blumenthal who worked with her at Salon in 2004. Sidney Blumenthal’s network is noteworthy because his email address book contains many of the dossier characters including Jacoby, Simpson, Winer, and others. It also contains most of the journalist involved in the ‘favorable’ dossier coverage. For example his friendly reporter count includes:

#

News Outlet

Number of reporters

Blumenthal communicated with

1

The Guardian

49

2

New Yorker

16

3

New York Times

50

4

Washington Post

60

A sampling of Blumenthal’s first 20 contacts (out of over 4000) shows an over 96% linkage to anti-Trump publications, most of these are from mainstream media sources.

Thus, another objective of the fake Cambridge Analytica narrative was to add fuel to the Russia hoax. Cambridge Analytica used research of psychologist Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, who was born in Moldova and lived in Russia until the age of 7. Kogan who has an undergraduate degree from the UC Berkeley, and a doctorate from the University of Hong Kong. From BuzzFeed News:

… outlets like the Guardian have repeatedly played up the notion that he may somehow be connected to Russia, he said, by pointing out a short research stint at St. Petersburg State University and the fact that he was born in Moldova in the former Soviet Union.

“I think they strongly insinuated that I’m a Russian spy based on no evidence whatsoever,” he said, citing the hysteria around the current US investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. “There have been conspiracy theorists that are convinced that I am the missing link between Russia and Trump.”

What’s more, the data scientist said his relationship was much deeper with Facebook than previously understood in news reports and the company’s statements. Besides coauthoring a research paper on data that was provided to him by Facebook, Kogan made several visits since 2013 to its Menlo Park, California, campus where he gave talks to employees about behavioral psychology and served as a paid consultant for a week in November 2015. He worked on “at least 10” papers with Facebook’s Pete Fleming… Kogan claimed that Facebook shelved plans to publish those papers after a December 2015 Guardian story tied GSR to Cambridge Analytica and the US presidential campaign of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

About the “whistleblower” Christopher Wylie, Kogan said :”Chris is as much a data scientist as I am a fashion icon. And I mostly wear sweatpants.

Leave a Reply