How Cambridge Analytica used Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others to put Trump in the White House

How Cambridge Analytica used Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others to put Trump in the White House
It sounds so creepy and far-fetched, almost like the plot to some B-list movie thriller. A company called Cambridge Analytica was able to help deliver the presidency to Donald Trump by getting inside the heads of the real estate developer's supporters and non-supporters using social media sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Data that was supposed to be used for research only was sold to Cambridge Analytica, which in turn sold the Trump campaign on the power behind its use.

To the credit of the team running the Trump campaign, they understood that mining the Facebook profiles of 50 million users could allow them to target the placement of ads and campaign events with surgical precision. The Clinton campaign was over confident and in the end, this hubris might have made the difference. In all fairness to the Clinton team, no one had ever seen a candidate for president admit to grabbing women's genitalia and not have it reflected in the polls. Still, it appears that the Clinton team took their eyes off the ball. More on that later.

A series of slides turned over to The Guardian by a former Cambridge Analytica employee reveals exactly how the Trump campaign got inside voters' heads. Keep in mind that according to the report published today, Cambridge is prone to exaggeration when it comes to taking credit for winning elections. The data and algorithms used by Cambridge allowed it to see instantly the effects of advertising it was placing on social media sites. Ads in regions of the country that were considered pro-Trump saw the candidate in celebratory mode next to directions to the closest polling station. The ad served up in areas that tracked in favor of Hillary showed famous Trump supporters including his daughter Ivanka Trump, one of the Duck Dynasty stars and UFC president Dana White.

The most successful ad run by Cambridge Analytica was one designed to look like a true newspaper report and listed "10 inconvenient truths about the Clinton Foundation." Appearing in swing states, this piece of propaganda ran for weeks. In addition, 35,000 Trump supporters were targeted through an ad on Facebook, Twitter, Google and music streamer Pandora, telling them to download a Pro-Trump app. A new form of advertising offered by Twitter was used to launch "conversational tweets" using pre-determined hashtags. Snapchat sold ads to Cambridge that allowed users to swipe up and see a fully loaded web page.

The Clinton team, whether not versed in this new type of psychological warfare, lazy, or just too over confident, could not keep up. And when Hillary's campaign had a golden opportunity, it threw it away. For example, today's report says that the Clinton campaign had arranged to run ads on Google’s video-hosting platform, but gave up the space. Google called Cambridge Analytica to say that the space was now available for immediate use. The Trump team quickly took advantage of this opportunity to run two different ads that appeared, based on the geographic location of the viewer.

Lastly, the Trump campaign used "persuasion search advertising" to put up pro-Trump and anti-Hillary ads on Google Search. Paying to have these posts high up on search results, Cambridge sought to control the first impression of internet users with ads saying things like "Hillary Voted for the Iraq War – Donald Trump opposed it."

It is important to point out that what Cambridge Analytica did with its targeted advertising campaign was not illegal, and was basically the same thing that every campaign tries to do with television and billboard ads. What is troubling were comments made on hidden camera by its CEO Alexander Nix about using women to put a particular politician or candidate in a compromising situation. Nix has been suspended by the company. Cambridge purchased this data from Russian-American ex-Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan, who was allowed to use the data for research purposes only. In addition, by allowing Kogan to mine the data, Facebook might have been in violation of a 2011 FTC consent decree it signed. With the latter, Facebook promised not to give up user data without permission.

That Cambridge Analytica's targeted approach worked can not be disputed. How else can you explain the fact that Hillary Clinton garnered three million more popular votes than Trump, but lost the election due to 40,000 well-placed votes in various states?

It should be pointed out that those involved in the Trump campaign of 2016 claim that some of the images were generated not by Cambridge, but by Trump’s digital director, Brad Parscale. And despite its success in 2016, no politician running for office these days will go anywhere near Cambridge Analytica. The company has reportedly been unable to find work with any U.S. campaign.

Check out how Cambridge Analytica's put Trump in the White House by clicking on the slideshow below.

source: TheGuardian



1. antroid

Posts: 392; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

Somehow I have the feeling he will use their services once again

30. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2474; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Doubtful. If you even read a CNN article posted just yesterday about the firms ties to the Trump, they even wrote that the firm was really bad at analyzing the right voters. They compared data to data they already had at the RNC to identify likely voters and the RNC data was far more accurate. In the end, this company brought pretty useless info. And this is coming from CNN, not exactly Trumps favorite news source.

36. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

What we see is: The water in the Swamp is under the normal level, so the creeps in the Swamp got crazy, and started jumping. Panic!

40. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

It's so fun to watch how Liberal websites like PA which are also probably funded by DNC or some leftist organization still trying to go out of their way to de-legitimize Trump's historic win in 2016. Trump won because people voted for him, no one persuaded them to do that and in fact Hillary was a crook and the entire world knew about her.

45. pixelated

Posts: 108; Member since: May 03, 2015

True. It's people who vote for a person, not ads. C'mon, liberals were given the taste of their own medicine.

50. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Sure. I have people at my office who still believe pizza gate and that Clinton has murdered thousand of people. And he is a pretty smart guy. I wouldn't be surprised if a few thousands people bought into the Russian propaganda to elect Trump.

59. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

And what about if tens of millions naive ppl didn't believe the MSM's massive propaganda lies, that Trump will turn down the market, and that he is anti semitic , racist, russian shill .....

38. lyndon420

Posts: 6860; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Who else could be using the service? That's the next question right??

43. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Obama used it, and many more democrats has used their services before. It was not a fraudulent company and there are hundreds more like this around the country. Hillary also must have used several of these analytic firms in her election campaign. FaceBook has failed to reacquire their user data and that's the main problem here. And even after all this, who can prove how Trump had a great advantage just because of this?? No one.

39. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 191; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

Vote democrats and get rid of Orange cheeto for good. America used to be good until this guy shows up

63. audibot

Posts: 666; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

shut up for once, you socialist fool

62. audibot

Posts: 666; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

they had no effect on the outcome, it changes every 8 yrs and on top of that obama did the same f-ing thing yet you all praise that sh$tbag

2. vasra

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

No, it was the voters and the electors that put Trump in the white house. Everybody tries to spin this. You don't like him - that's ok, me neither. However, he was voted for. All parties use micro-targeted marketing and all sorts of spun stories. Facebok COO directly supported Obama and Clinton and she wanted to get Clinton in the white house. They failed. That should give you an idea of what the people voted for - regardless of how much FB helped Clinton.

6. Acdc1a

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Unless they physically stuffed the ballot box (and I believe the other side probably did this, see the Brian Mast Congressional District's Presidential results) then they didn't elect anyone.


Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Three words for you, my friend: 1. DNC 2. Soros 3. e-mail

14. turboC6

Posts: 89; Member since: Feb 19, 2018

1 million thumbs up. Soros is public enemy #1. Soros just paid to have the Philadelphia District Attorney "elected". Google Larry Krasner DA if you want your eyes opened to see what Soros is doing at every level of government. Wake up, America.

35. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

I have not been able to understand this issue of Russia middling and now Cambridge Analytical. Correct me if I am wrong. I thought Americans voted and their votes were counted and Trump won. How comes, Russia and CA are involved? Did Russia send some Russians to come and vote for Trump? Or were some Americans put at gun point to vote for Trump by Russia? If Americans actually voted for Trump and he won, then that's it. And that is democracy. America and Americans should move on and stop disturbing the world with this their nonsense, we have a lot to read about and Trump winning the election is already history. We want to focus ahead.

53. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1459; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Trump actually lost the vote by more than 3million votes, but because of a seriously flawed voting system, he still won. That's also one of the focal points of Cambridge Analytical's use in the process. They used massive amounts of Facebook user data to sway voters in key areas to influence the electoral vote. So even if Trump lost the popular vote which was bound to happen, the electoral vote would sway in his favor and give him the presidency. That was also how the Russians meddling with Facebook and Twitter influenced voters in specific areas. So it seems there was a multifaceted effort to purposely tamper with the voters, to hijack the election. If this was done with Trump's knowledge, it would invalidate his presidency, could even be high treason.

64. audibot

Posts: 666; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

you may want to check that since millions of votes are faked and have been caught why do you think cali stopped giving data to the election board. they have already uncovered mass voting fraud and that 91% against the dems

41. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Exactly!!! Trump won because he is talented and he is an outsider to the political swamp in USA. People was tired of all this political bs of Obama and Hillary.

5. slashas

Posts: 146; Member since: Jul 17, 2017

Reminds me “House of cards” scenario.


Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

It's like this Friedman is obsessed with Trump these days. What gives?

15. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

im not quite sure how this is different than hollywood and news outlets for Hillary still...

17. emvxl

Posts: 142; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Love that photo of our president - nice profile pic.

20. fastfreddy123

Posts: 67; Member since: Mar 25, 2017

Libs blame anything and everything on crookedness or Trump. Politicians have used these services for years. They have used Demographics to get votes for decades. Funny how they blame the Russians . How come Obama didnt do anything hMM. Hillary opened the door but of course its not her fault and she wont be prosecuted. She basically said heres my server do what you will. This crap thats happening now is just a Culmination of 16 years of failed Democratic policies. Trump has been in office for two years not enough time to do a damn thing yet everything is his fault .. uhuh LOL . Dems dont want equality for all people what they want is preferential treatment for Minorities, ILLEGALS[ NOT immigrants] and Special Interest groups. They want to limit religious freedoms .They use the term racism to manipulate and everything that goes against there political agenda is a "Hate" crime. Figures that Phonearena just falls inline

26. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

Like most of these comments suggest, there's 5th Avenue Supporters (where Trump could shoot you in the middle of 5th Avenue yet you'd still support him) and everyone else.

32. sunnyfpy

Posts: 288; Member since: May 12, 2013

Another Foolish bloney loaded exposezzzz backfired

46. nerdmb

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 11, 2017

Do people really believe getting elected to American presidency is as easy as using some data from teenagers’ social media? Who’s paying for these kinda non sensical “articles”?

60. tawrid

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 24, 2018

Aliens invaded Americans. We have watched movies. Now let's watch who saves them in reality. By the way, the plan is to invade and choke rest of the world.

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