While it is a scandal that has been covered prominently in recent news, we find that there is still so much to learn about Cambridge Analytica’s effects on, not just our Democracy but, our very lives and lifestyle choices. As with any breaking news, the dogs are the cutest part, but you’ll have to bear with us for a minute.
What is known about the election tampering analytics company, named Cambridge Analytica by former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, is that they partnered with facebook to get to know you better, maybe learn a bit more about what you like, why you like it, and if they can, perhaps, make you prefer something else in spite of yourself.
Molly Schweickert, Vice President, Global Media – Cambridge Analytica, seductively purrs that the data mining objective during the 2016 election was to find out more about your wants, needs, preferences, and choice of pets, and to try to collate that data through the “persuasion universe matrix” in order to learn how to further engage (entice) you. This includes tailoring your newsfeed – via facebook – to slowly pull the long con on your gullible ass as far as electoral politics, but it also includes the use of targeted ads on your newsfeed tailored to you. You know the ones. You ordered one pack of boxer briefs from Calvin Klein and your newsfeed is now cluttered with an Adonis in shorts with the words FOR A LIMITED TIME plastered all over it. Or the time you made that funny meme only to find Fleshlight ads splattered all over your wall.
While those ads were figuring out what you like and how you’ll vote (100% correct, by the way), they were also mining facebook for pictures of your dog. While your dog was not important to the campaign, manipulating you into doubting your then current choice of dog food and choosing another was a useful tool to make you doubt everything you believe about anything you ever believed. Don’t think it worked? Look at the thing occupying the presidential golf course as we speak.
Wrapping this all back around, we can now see how your dog hates the food you’re now buying him, but you are so sure he likes it better. Why is this? Why the disconnect? This is because Cambridge Analytica’s marketing matrix can make you have very strong opinions that have nothing to do with your observable reality – to in fact entice you to make choices counter to the best interests of both you and your dog. They used data to try to trick you into making bad decisions, which you, like the sleepwalking lemming you are, happily did. Congratulations on your manipulation of your own election, but do your dog a favor, go buy his old favorite food again. He’ll thank you, and you will thank me.