This has a been a big week to talk aloud about privacy. It was revealed by whistleblower Chris Wylie that the data analysis company Cambridge Analytica might have used targeted ads to sway the 2016 elections in favor of Trump. And before we go too much further into this, I have to say that I’ll covering this a lot deeper on Fork Full of Noodles in the next few weeks, but I feel like it’s important catch these things early and address a few key points.
The biggest reveal from the Cambridge Analytica leaks is the psychological manipulation that was used was Steve Bannon to steer votes away from Hilary Clinton. I wonder if that’s why Steve Bannon looked so haggard and tired. He collected all this data and absorbed all the fears of the American populous and the magnitude of that was so much that he started collapsing from the inside, much like a mountain that is stripped of it’s core because of a different kind of mining!
Cambridge Analytica used the data they collected from Facebook apps to create profiles of different kinds of users and target ads that exploit their fears and anxieties over and over again to get what they wanted. Basically they hypermasculinized Facebook data. They looked the American people in the eyes and found out what we really is want is healthcare for our families, less people in prison, a smaller wage gap between CEOs and workers and with the collected data they embolden these fears. They’re America’s numerous shitty significant others that we now to block because they keep telling us how their going to change! Seeing is believing!
Psychological warfare isn’t illegal. It does mean that information and social media has been weaponized for the private sector’s war on a digital landscape. And it’s very telling about where we are a society. We’re currently a society that uses information about fears, hopes, aspirations, and anxieties as weapon against people instead of quelling those fears and boosting those hopes. It’s like when your parents would tell you how scary the world was outside your own home. So those sheltered people wound up on the internet and NOW it’s not even safe to be at your home because Cambridge Analytica is here to tell you how the Clinton administration is drinking all your milk and freeloading off your generosity, just like that shitty significant other of yours.
Now this doesn’t mean I’m pro-Hilary. I think if she had looked into this option she would have done the same thing. And maybe she wasn’t the highest bidder on the cost of the human mind. But if she was, she would’ve mostly used to show how hip and cool she was. You know like Bernie Sanders, a 70-something jewish man. According to Mark Turnbull the Managing Director at Cambridge Analytica, it’s all about emotions. More than anything this revelation has shown us that even therapists are victims of the coming automation.
What these leaks are really showing is the fact that our Democracy and elections, much like most of the world’s, is bought and sold. Leaders are now chosen by aide the technology that’s meant to connect the people. And trust in private and governmental entities is starting to diminish. But this leak much like Russiagate will push our blame outward instead of looking into the systems we’ve propped up.
We propped up a Capitalistic system that allowed for a corporate private entity like Facebook to sell data about our personalities and our deepest secrets to another private entity for the purposes of political fuckery. It put a price on our emotions, something advertisers having been trying to do for years. And we are outsourcing understanding ourselves and our needs to technology and it’s opening a window to be used against us. And we don’t have time for self reflection we have to make she much for these corporations. This also opens the door to ask if corporations like Facebook and Cambridge Analtyica are doing this and it’s above the books, what other companies are psychologically manipulating us for profit or political gain.
This means what we need to do as a society is the exact opposite of what these corporations have been doing. We should be building each other’s hopes and aspirations instead of manipulating our fears. We should also use the examples of data analysis to analyze ourselves so we can understand ourselves better than algorithm that mined our psyche like the coal from a mountain!
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!