This week we discuss parents trying to kill each other, our experience of an app-based detective game, dressing up like owls (see very bottom of this post), The Great Hack, I am a Killer, and crows with knives.
The Great Hack
The Great Hack released on Netflix on 24 July after its premiere at Sundance Festival earlier this year. It explores the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the role it played in the successful Trump presidential campaign and the equally successful pro-Brexit Leave.EU campaign.
Cambridge Analytica was founded in 2013 in England as an offshoot of the American group SCL. Their business offered a consulting service to other businesses and political parties for targeted marketing and did that by using a combination of data analysis and behavioural science. So it made facebook ads that targeted certain facebook users to try and persuade them to do one thing or another, such as vote in an election.
Cambridge Analytica used data retrieved from over 300,000 people from a facebook personality test app called “this is your digital life”. The most alarming part is that this app also harvested data from the friends of the user of the app – which is obviously not consensual and produced a substantial chunk of data of tens of millions of Facebook users.
This data was purchased by Cambridge Analytica. Facebook told them to delete it. They didn’t. Instead, they used it to create mass amounts of targeted advertisements and posts. Brittany Kaiser (one of the whistleblowers, and former business development director for CA) explains that they identified those whose minds could be changed and “We bombarded them through blogs, websites, articles, videos, ads, every platform you can imagine. Until they saw the world the way we wanted them to. Until they voted for our candidate.” (The Great Hack, 2019)
The Great Hack focusses on Cambridge Analytica being hired by the Trump presidential campaign and the Leave.EU campaign. Using testimony from Brittany Kaiser and Christopher Wylie (a data scientist) the investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr amongst many, we are hit with a terrifying question: with technology like this available and our personal data being weaponised are we ever going to have a fair political election ever again?
Now who else wants to delete all their social media and go and live in the woods?
Detective Day – CluedUpp