I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but then again that is literally my job. As it turns out, Facebook has bigger problems than being the social media platform where your racist ex from high school posts his engagement album with pics of him and his betrothed at a horse barn. According to a story from The New York Times, Trump consultants hired a British firm to harvest private data from Facebook users to help shape their campaign strategies. So basically, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica low-key harvested your data, and that date was used to benefit the Trump campaign. It’s a long story, so I’ll sum it up for you here, and I’ll try to keep the “blah, blah, blah I’m a virgin who works in tech” jargon to a minimum and the shady, hot goss to a maximum. You’re welcome.
Girl, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll start with the guy with a striking resemblance to aged gorgonzola cheese: Steve Bannon. Back in 2014, Bannon was working as the political adviser to a Republican donor named Robert Mercer. Mercer invested a casual $15 million in a company called Cambridge Analytica in exchange for the tools to obtain information about American voters through their social media profiles. According to former employees, Cambridge Analytica obtained this information from Facebook users without their consent. Apparently the company had a knack for being like, supes edging and not giving a F about the rules. Aka they are shady as hell. The New York Times viewed some of the data that the firm had obtained, and verified that it included details on users’ identities, friend networks and “likes.” Presumably, this information was used to help shape Trump’s campaign. Exploitation of private information, much? Not to mention the fact that the company was mostly run by non-American citizens, and having foreign influence on a political campaign is illegal. I believe the official term for this kind of activity is “shady-ass-MF-shit.”
How TF Did This Happen?
Facebook is in some hot water now because they weren’t smart enough to realize they were handing over a bunch of private information to a guy who was going to use it for purposed involving miles and miles of shade. Cambridge Analytica was sneaky, I’ll give them that. They paid to have the information obtained from Facebook by an outside source, who, according to Facebook, claimed to be using the information for research purposes only. This guy, Aleksander Krogan, had a deal with Cambridge Analytica that he could use the information he got for his own personal research, he just had to hand over the information to them as well. Very reassuring that the tight security over at Facebook allows someone to call them up and be like, “Yo, just doing some research, can I have all of your files plz?” And then Facebook is just like, “Lol sure. Xoxo.”
Should You Be Freaking TF Out?
I mean, in this day in age, probably, yes, always. It’s definitely terrifying that our information can be leaked and handed over to people looking to take advantage of it that easily. Facebook has claimed that once they realized WTF was going on, they contacted Cambridge Analytica and had them delete all of the obtained information immediately. But whether or not that actually happened is up for debate. The good news is our boi Robert S. Mueller III, has requested the emails of Cambridge Analytica employees who worked for the Trump team, and since he is Robert Mueller III, it is the law that those people must hand that shit over. So if illegal, shady shit was done, these bitches are about to be exposed. Who knows, maybe this could be what we need to bring Trump down. And maybe my racist ex and his horse girl fiancee will get divorced. Maybe we really can have it all.
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