March 22, 2017
MICROTARGETING AFFECTS OUTCOMES IN ELECTIONS
We live in a digital age and the internet of things does influence elections, not just here in the USA, but everywhere. Not only do other countries influence elections, the microtargeting that exists within the USA does also. Every candidate running who is worth their salt uses microtargeting.
Companies are hired to make “psychographic profiles.” They get the data from companies such as Facebook. Mother Jones explained how Ted Cruz’s campaign hired “Cambridge Analytica” to compile data of millennial voters from Facebook users. They were paid $1 to turn over their Facebook profiles. From these profiles they retrieved names of their friends, thus increasing their voter base.
Barrack Obama during his 2008 campaign was actually the first to microtarget on a massive scale. This was so effective, that online marketers have schools that teach this technique:
“The key is to analyze consumer behavior in detail. Moving from batch ‘n blast campaigns and mass marketing to micro targeted campaigns pays… start with analyzing web browsing behavior and email engagement for example… Use Facebook Custom Audience to target advertisements specifically to a group of named individuals… The Obama campaign sifted through self-described supporters’ Facebook pages in search of friends who might be on the campaign’s list of the most persuadable voters. Then the campaign would ask the self-identified supporters to bring their undecided friends along.”
HACKING EFFECTS ELECTIONS
In March of 2008, hackers from Anonymous who are an international group affiliated with Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth organization were accused of hacking into emails of Yamenko and Potupchick and posting them online. This was a big political scandal. So, it doesn’t only happen here in the U.S., but abroad also.
USING BOTS AND FAKE FOLLOWERS
Bots were used here in the 2016 elections. As I had noticed twitter accounts that did not interact with their followers, I assumed they might be bots. According to heavy.com, nearly 1/5 of the election-related tweets came from bots according to a study by the University of California. They used a machine-learning framework called BotorNot to distinguish between bots and humans.
WHAT WE KNOW
Renice Priebus said President Trump believed that Russia was behind the intrusions into the Democratic Party organizations, although Preibus did not clarify whether the President agreed that the hacks were directed by Vladimir Putin. In a statement he acknowledged that “Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democratic National Committee.”
It doesn’t matter who hacked the emails because basically hacking has been going on for years, whether it’s a politician or a regular person, it happens. It’s just that it was done during an election for the first time. Why? Because who ever did it knew what kind of person Hillary Clinton was, and did not like her. If a candidate is an honest individual then there is really nothing to expose, thus more than likely would of not been a victim of hacking.
Now, whether or not it changed the outcome of the 2016 election? It might of, we won’t know for sure. But, the Democratic party should not of had a candidate running that had such a shady past, not to mention all the skeletons that literally fell out of her closet when emails were exposed. Moral of the story, if you are going to run for political office, you better make sure there is NOTHING damaging that could be revealed.
When the House Intelligence Committee finishes its questioning and publicizes it’s findings, little will be changed. If we haven’t been able to stop hacking since the start of the internet, we never will. Better cyber “firewalls, encryption,” might help for a little while until they crack that too. Hackers are always many steps ahead of the police.
Let’s face it we live in a very complicated time and space. It will become more so when we have robots that are in our homes, or driving our automobiles, etc…that could become a really big nightmare if they were to get hacked.