Democracy Now

“Democracy For Sale”: Cambridge Analytica & Big Tech’s History of Manipulating Elections

A longtime Facebook executive has admitted the company’s platform helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election, and it may happen again this year. In an internal memo, Facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth wrote, “So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected? I think the answer is yes.” Bosworth, who was a backer of Hillary Clinton in 2016, went on to write that the company should not change its policies in an effort to hurt Trump’s re-election chances. In his memo, Bosworth referenced the role of the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica but downplayed its significance. However, a new Oscar-shortlisted documentary called “The Great Hack” argues Cambridge Analytica has played a significant role not just in the U.S. election but in elections across the globe. The company harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users’ knowledge or consent and used the data to sway voters during the 2016 campaign. We speak with the directors of “The Great Hack,” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, as well as former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser and propaganda researcher Emma Briant.

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