Today there we’re revealed that the International ‘Big Data’ Company Cambridge Analytica, the offspring of Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), who has appeared and even had now Presidential Adviser Steve Bannon on their board. This company is famous for using their techniques to manipulate and make sure the message of the Trump campaign got spread to the masses. This through the big data collection and through the algorithms that the social media sites produces. So that the election cycle can produce stories and messages, that are positive in favor of the ones that are trying to get elected and are the clients of the Cambridge Analytica or SCL.
Therefore, the news of Jubilee Alliance Party, that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto hired the company to alter the big data traffic in Kenya. Proves that they will use any method, except the righteous ones to win. Because Jubilee knows they are trading in shallow waters, with a IEBC, rising food prices and inflation, together with missed promises from the last campaign. Therefore, the Jubilee are now sticking to the expensive tricks of the trade from the United Kingdom and United States. Certainly, the chicken-gate will not be replicated, but might tried to be deflected as people are not finding out about quick enough. Take a look!
Big Data on the Kenyan Election:
“According to sources in the Office of the President cited by The Star newspaper, the Jubilee coalition contracted Cambridge Analytica, which “uses data to change audience behaviour” (…) “Based on a Guardian expose, The Star newspaper writes that in the Kenyan context, Cambridge Analytica is expected “to pay Facebook and other third-party data companies for information about Kenya’s undecided voters whom it will then bombard with social media posts and adverts” (…) “Cambridge Analytica, which has already dispatched a small team to Kenya, will work alongside BTP Advisers. The latter has already commenced campaign planning” (Buchanan, 2017).
“Cambridge Analytica has marketed itself as classifying voters using five personality traits known as OCEAN — Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism — the same model used by University of Cambridge researchers for in-house, non-commercial research. The question of whether OCEAN made a difference in the presidential election remains unanswered. Some have argued that big data analytics is a magic bullet for drilling into the psychology of individual voters; others are more skeptical. The predictive power of Facebook likes is not in dispute. A 2013 study by three of Kogan’s former colleagues at the University of Cambridge showed that likes alone could predict race with 95 percent accuracy and political party with 85 percent accuracy. Less clear is their power as a tool for targeted persuasion; Cambridge Analytica has claimed that OCEAN scores can be used to drive voter and consumer behavior through “microtargeting,” meaning narrowly tailored messages. Nix has said that neurotic voters tend to be moved by “rational and fear-based” arguments, while introverted, agreeable voters are more susceptible to “tradition and habits and family and community.” (Schwartz, 2017).
“We don’t consider ourselves a ‘big data’ company, we are a data analytics company. Many organization out there want to serve as the database of record for their clients. We aim to be the layer on top of that, which provides our clients with actionable insights – essentially acting as the brain behind the decision-making process. We’ve come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to be done on the side of automation. Campaigns move so quickly that often it’s difficult to keep up. The more automation we can bring to the process outside of the campaign HQ will greatly increase our speed in delivering insights to the decision makers” (Patterson, 2017).
Privacy International on CA:
“It’s one thing to profile people, and another to say that because of that profiling you are able to effectively change behaviour on a mass scale. Cambridge Analytica clearly does the former, but only claims (!) to succeed in the latter. Even before the company was in the news, their methods raised a lot of eyebrows amongst experts on data-driven campaigning, with one consultant claiming that “everyone universally agrees that their sales operation is better than their fulfilment product” (Kaltheuner, 2017).
So even if Privacy International are saying that the CA are not as all powerful as they claim they are. This might be relief, even if the idea of all power Big Data collective and possible manipulation of electoral process. This being the sales pitch of the CA and SCL. That the company will micro-targeting the Kenyan electorate with big data and five personality traits on their OCEAN program. We can officially question their motives and if the Jubilee will believe in it. If so, they are smug and thinking they can rig the whole spectrum news and sharing of information ahead of the last months of campaigning. They can certainly need to circle their message and deliver on inflation and on the food prices.
“‘The impressive bit,’ says Nix, is to expand the findings from those who took the personality tests to the entire American electorate of 230 million. They can do this because Cambridge Analytica also has ‘4,000–5,000 data points’ — pieces of information — on every single adult in the US. This can be anything from age, gender and ethnicity to what magazines they buy, which TV programmes they watch, the food they eat, the cars they drive, even the golf clubs they belong to. This is indeed impressive — and a little bit creepy. Regardless, the data is for sale; Cambridge Analytica take it and (they have persuaded their clients) spin it into gold. There are two assumptions: first that people who buy the same things and have the same habits — the same ‘data points’ — have similar personalities; secondly that your personality will help predict, say, whether you go for Coke or Pepsi, Clinton or Trump. ‘Behaviour is driven by personality,’ Nix said” (…) “A Republican data scientist for a rival firm said he did not use psychographics. ‘If you get a voter on the phone, why are you asking them what their favourite ice cream is or what their favourite colour is — why don’t you just ask them who they’re going to vote for?’ He added: ‘They’ve got a smooth-talking Brit wearing Savile Row suits who gives you a great pitch and wows you a little bit; they’ve got a great PR operation, but with psychographic profiling, there’s nothing there. They’re really, really smart people. It’s like they’re a bunch of board-certified doctors who decided to make a lot more money selling snake oil’” (Wood, 2016).
So, if this is true, than President Kenyatta has bought into the CA tricks and that people believes in the companies sales pitch. Something that cannot claim at this point. If so, wouldn’t more people be direct afraid, also PI for instance who is always talking about the possibility of what CA is promising. Therefore, the British sales pitch is bought by the Jubilee, but the public should be aware of the misuse of funds to pay the foreign political data enterprise, who clearly see a naive bunch of Kenyans. Kenyans who has money to spend on something cannot be proven. President Kenyatta and DP Ruto really wants to make sure they win, even if they micro-targeting the public.
Therefore, this will really see more marketing stunts and more that fits the paradigm of the OCEAN quizzes that deliver the target CA sets for Jubilee. CA has said they we’re behind the Trump victory, but there many counterclaims, even some who questions investors of SLC and CA. Even some thinks the Mercer family is behind it and therefore, first supported Cruz campaign, than later Trump. Which the CA did! So they wasn’t as perfect and brilliant since they didn’t help Cruz much.
So we can hope they can promise the same stats and the same services to Kenyatta and Ruto. After looking into it, the matter seem less powerful, but in the future some companies might have the power to really manipulate the electorate. Something, the CA doesn’t have yet, but the fear of might overpower the crowds. Since, this sort of tactic is not yet proven. Even if CA says so, but that is their sales pitch that clearly got Jubilee tricked as well. Peace.
Buchanan, Elsa – ‘How Kenya’s Jubilee party is using UK ‘big data’ firm linked to Trump and Brexit victories’ (10.05.2017) link:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/how-kenyas-jubilee-party-using-uk-big-data-firm-linked-trump-brexit-victories-1620923
Kaltheuner, Frederike – ‘Cambridge Analytica Explained: Data and Elections’ (13.03.2017) link: https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/1440
Patterson, Dan – ‘Cambridge Analytica: The future of political data is in the enterprise’ (13.03.2017) link: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/cambridge-analytica-the-future-of-political-data-is-in-the-enterprise/
Schwartz, Mattathias – ‘FACEBOOK FAILED TO PROTECT 30 MILLION USERS FROM HAVING THEIR DATA HARVESTED BY TRUMP CAMPAIGN AFFILIATE’ (30.03.2017) link: https://theintercept.com/2017/03/30/facebook-failed-to-protect-30-million-users-from-having-their-data-harvested-by-trump-campaign-affiliate/
Wood, Paul – ‘The British data-crunchers who say they helped Donald Trump to win’ (03.12.2016) link: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/the-british-data-crunchers-who-say-they-helped-donald-trump-to-win/