Cambridge Analytica’s dirty tricks! media and political critics, who for years feted “big data,” suddenly pretend it’s a crime,

“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then . . . give it a little push every now and again . . . like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘that’s propaganda,’ because the moment you think ‘that’s propaganda,’ the next question is, ‘who’s put that out?'”

That’s how Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica — the election consulting firm that worked for Donald Trump; the Brexit campaign and dozens of other clients; political parties in Kenya, Mexico and beyond — described the company’s tactics to a “customer” who was, in fact, a reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News. The “information” in question referred to false information, which the company itself was proposing to create. Perhaps a little sting operation involving some “beautiful” Ukrainian girls? The company could catch it on a secret camera, and get it “into the bloodstream of the Internet.”

Cambridge Analytica: Undercover Secrets of Trump’s Data Firm

 

Whether and to what extent this constituted legal wrongdoing or a violation of service terms is still to be ruled on. Facebook says that users “knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked” and that Cambridge Analytica merely used the data beyond its original purpose, and was told to delete it, and has suspended it from its platform. Cambridge Analytica counters that it was misled and got rid of the data as it was instructed. Facebook argues that it did not violate its users’ self-selected privacy settings when it gave away their data, though regulators may argue otherwise.

Cambridge was hired by the Donald Trump campaign in June 2016, as Trump’s push to the general election started to slowly organize. The rationale behind that hire appears to be in large part to secure the support of the wealthy Mercer family, which helped found and fund Cambridge and which, ultimately, did mobilize behind Trump’s candidacy.

There are a few questions that have surrounded Cambridge’s role in Trump’s campaign. For one thing, the firm was employed both by Trump’s campaign and by a pro-Trump independent group called Make America Number 1 PAC. That group was a vehicle for the Mercer family to spend unlimited funds advocating for Trump’s candidacy.

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis keeps growing

It’s been a rough few days for Facebook.

The Menlo Park, California-based company is under siege from lawmakersregulatorsusersshareholders, and even its own employees amid revelations that Cambridge Analytics, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, secretly harvested personal data from 50 million of its users.

The saga began on Friday evening, when Facebook posted a statement announcing it was suspending Cambridge Analytica and its British parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories, from its platform. Facebook said its policies had been violated when Cambridge University scholar Aleksandr Kogan passed the data of millions of users, obtained through a personality test app, to Cambridge and SCL.

A pair of blockbuster reports from the New York Times and the UK’s Observer released Saturday explained the scope of the problem: Cambridge Analytica collected the data not only of the approximately 270,000 users who agreed to take Kogan’s personality quiz but also their friends, thus harvesting information on tens of millions of people without their knowledge or permission.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign also used Cambridge Analytica — according to the Center for Responsive Politics, his campaign paid the firm $5.9 million during the 2016 election. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign and Super PACs supporting him paid the firm millions of dollars as well.

The reports about Facebook have sparked widespread backlash, and the company’s efforts to minimize the situation have fallen short. Facebook has tried to explain that what happened technically doesn’t count as adata breachand has hired a digital forensics firm to audit Cambridge Analytica. But it’s sort of too little, too late.

The fallout hit hard and fast over the weekend as the Times and Observer stories broke. The company has seen billions of dollars wiped off its market cap, and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is percolating on Twitter. There are reports that the company’s chief security officer is headed for the exit. And as lawmakers in the US and Europe call for Facebook to shape up and explain what happened, it appears the tech giant’s troubles are far from over.

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OFF TO FACEBOOK JAIL YOU GO! Over 300 cops and police staff disciplined for social media offences including grooming and sharing extreme porn

As many as 300 officers and police staff have been disciplined for online offences with some so serious they have been forced to leave their jobs

HUNDREDS of cops and other police staff have been accused of Facebook offences including online grooming.

Some have been sacked or suspended while others have been reprimanded.

Online offences

Trolling and sharing extreme pornography also feature among more than 300 serious incidents involving Facebook that forces have owned up to.

All occurred over the past two years, a study by a political think tank found.

But not all of the nation’s 43 police forces revealed data, meaning the true total is likely to be far higher.

Among the worst cases is suspected online grooming by a police employee in Merseyside.

Another there quit after posting “offensive messages in relation to a football match”.

In North Yorkshire, a crime victim’s family was harassed via Facebook.

In the West Country an officer was carpeted for posting an “inappropriate picture with a gun”.

Other police and staff nationwide have used Facebook to post racist abuse and leak operational information.

Facebook

One was hauled in for using Facebook’s messaging site to send saucy snaps while in uniform.

The probe by think tank Parliament Street found that six Met staff had resigned or retired since 2015 after incidents involving Facebook.

The. offences included dereliction of duty, abusive language and one dismissal for unknown “abuse”.

Experts at Centropy PR, which specialises in research into social media, last night slammed the scandal.

Boss Steven George-Hilley said: “It’s outrageous so many bobbies are behaving like this.

“Police chiefs need to take action to retrain employees who misuse Facebook.

“Those who put investigations at risk should be axed.”

Most Facebook friends are false friends

You can only count on about four of your friends, and most don’t even care if anything bad happens to you

Most of your Facebook friends don’t care about you and probably wouldn’t even sympathise with your problems, according to a new study.

Many people have hundreds of Facebook friends. But people can only really depend on four of them, on average, according to new research.

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, undertook a study to find out the connection between whether people have lots of Facebook friends and real friends.

 

He found that there was very little correlation between having friends on social networks and actually being able to depend on them, or even talking to them regularly.

The average person studied had around 150 Facebook friends. But only about 14 of them would express sympathy in the event of anything going wrong.

The average person said that only about 27 per cent of their Facebook friends were genuine.

Those numbers are mostly similar to how friendships work in real life, the research said. But the huge number of supposed friends on a friend list means that people can be tricked into thinking that they might have more close friends.

“There is a cognitive constraint on the size of social networks that even the communication advantages of online media are unable to overcome,” Professor Dunbar wrote wrote. “In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them.”

Facebook friends tend to organise in different layers, the research claims. About five people will be in the first and closest one, then 15, 50 and 150 different friends will be in each of the groups as they move further out.