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Big Data being used to influence elections

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Hmm, to me this isn't really anything "new" per se, big data and data analytics have been used to influence pretty much everything since forever. It's not too hard to move minds with the right targeting and a handful of currency thrown at it.



I'm just hoping this sort of thing gets reported on more so that non tech people start taking better care of the data they are letting these people get hold of.

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@01SAF please share your thoughts, there welcome.

Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Psychological warfare? “Totally. That’s what it is. Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”

This is key to understand. And @anon94261841 is spot on, though today with such huge access to information is far easier to manipulate people than it has been. But its also easier to identify the manipulation.

If you know the people to target you can easily spread mis-information, that's why having sources for your information is so important.

more often than not i think these psyops target malleable people who already have a leaning towards a certain point of view that they can exploit and cement into their minds. those people then go one to spread that information as fact to others around them.

Wit the internet this is a great tool, as if you can identify the right people you can manipulate their thoughts and have them spread that information to a large number of people within their circle of influence. these people then in turn trusting their friend or idol spread that information again as fact because why shouldn't they trust them.

If you think this isn't happening you only need to dig into one shaky fact to find it quickly crumbles. Take in the UK where immigration was used as a key fact for pushing the leave campaign. It was suggested and shown that being in the EU was causing serious immigration issues in the last few years, especially eastern Europeans. But if you looked at the actual definitive data from the ONS you found not only was immigration not on the rise in relation to overall long term immigration stats, but that western Europeans were actually worse than eastern Europeans when it came to work and benefits etc. the whole immigration "fact" was based on manipulated data targeted against specific communities with higher immigration states than the overall country.

Its simple to counter mis-information though, mis-information happens on these forums as well (its one of the reasons certain types of politics is currently not allowed).

You ask for the data, the scientific papers or statistical data to back up a persons argument. What usually happens is they don't have that information, nor do they know where to get it, as more often than not they got their information from another person either with an agenda or who had also been manipulated to believe something that wasn't quite true.

(on very rare occasion the person may be the source, buts its not often I don't think)

Expect to see it happen to a great extent in the UK election coming up, and if your in the UK, do your research and ask for evidence. I cant stress that enough. And if your on the forums in a heated topic, ask for evidence to back up claims as well.

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Couldn't agree more found it shocking speaking to family members about the EU referendum the amount of misinformation they had heard. It also emphisies the problem of the internet comunity bubbles which form of groups of people acting as an echo chamber. I don't want to get political but there might be a colalation between the split in the voting habits in the EU referendum between age groups and their suseptability to online influence. As I pesonaly know older people who will accept anything they see online as truth which has lead them to falling for scams in the past.



I'm not sure how much research has been done into it (open research at least), it would be very interesting to see more about it. I don't think I have access to those types of journals to check :frowning:



After a bit of research this seems possible. I considered Online scams as a parallel to the fake news/ misinformation strategies as they share similarities and found this article . The BBC also made a lot of good graphs after the referendum this one is vote direction by age.



We can even see that in the data from the recent community survey. In general, the community consists of young males from North America and Europe who are interested in Linux, small hardware and electronics, enterprise stuff, robots, and in-depth news. They are fairly agnostic about where they consume their media.

Their computers are Intel-based in ATX form factor a fairly standard amount of RAM (16GB or less). The amount of storage is more or less normally distributed, centered on 1TB to 8TB. There's a slight lean towards Nvidia GPUs compared to AMD, but both are far and above Intel iGPU options. Operating system is more likely to be Windows, but Linux is a viable chance.

If I was an advertiser or somebody otherwise that is looking to target this community I would pretty much know exactly what to focus on with that data. I have the gender, age group, rough cultures, interests, where they like to get their media, and even their operating systems and what is inside their PCs. I could probably even get specific brand preferences and political leanings with some digging.

Now extend this thought out to either social media hoarding the data of potentially millions of users, or even just an analytics company with databases dedicated to scraping information off the internet. Information like this adds up real quick when it gets scaled up.



It's nothing compared to being monitored by D-Wave in real time.

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And in this political climate the American congress voted to let the ISP's sell your data to the highest bidder. So now super rich psychopaths can use that data to manipulate an entire country. Neat.

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Oh, MSM cries that someone else can do the same shit MSM was doing for decades, if not centuries. How cute.

iirc, it wasn't about quantity, but about quality of immigrants.



It is always a good idea to find a second source. Especially when the Guardian shows up on the oficial Ron Paul list of fake news sites. The only list I am aware of that is sourced and has links to the pertinent wiki-leaks documents.

Also I will leave the first sentence of this shining example of journalistic integrity.
"A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?"
"billionaire friends of Trump"
So where exactly were all these rich supporters of Trump go when he actually ran for president?



It should be possibly to recreate the data in the article as its primary initial source seems to be the campaign funding data when looking specifically at the campaign stuff. But the other psyops and mi-information discussion seems reasonably well informed, and your post backs that up.

I'm surprised the list is so small, I assume its just people who wrote fake/misleading news about ron paul?

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I am so thankful that The Young Turks are doing so much to try and change how elections will work in the future. Get money out of politics and trying to create media that reports facts without bias instead of the garbage that is on the news these days. Big data may be influencing elections but the biggest thing that is ruining them is big money buying politicians.



For now, perhaps.



Young Turks is controlled opposition.
They have not been targeted by the YT Boycott algorithm that has demonetized Truth community channels for "Fake News".



Actually graph came from a nbc article.

Ron Paul gets attacked from the left and the NeoCons, even Ann Coulter once called him insane and Hannity and Paul have had many spirited debates.

Information has always been a threat to those in power which is why this was so well hidden, in Britain:)



Well of course, the USA is still owned by the UK, which is run by the Vatican - which is controlled via Moscow... and Putin is a CIA plant. This whole deep state thing has many, many layers :wink:

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I find it interesting that back when Obama won in 2008, the media ran slobbering articles about how the tech industry had used data mining techniques to properly target ads towards the appropriate voters to get the desired results. It happened again in 2012 with similar articles with even facebook getting involved to help target adds better. They even made a big deal about the Dems providing a phone app that told door knockers used that showed which houses voted which way. The tech media praised its success in affecting voter turnout in the "right way".

Now when the "other" side is doing it, it's now bad and taking advantage of the "gullible sheep" and "fake news". The whole tone and imagery in this article has this scary Orwellian vibe to it, with words like "Psychological warfare", "Crazy" and "Propaganda" added in for good measure.

...And people wonder why the news media has lost all credibility with the public at large. If its bad when one side does it, lets be consistent and call it out when the other side does it too. Make no mistake, everyone is currently using these techniques to influence voters, like it or not. Our private data is for sale to the highest bidder.