Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. For over two decades, we've produced our daily news hour without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now every donation we receive will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $25 today, Democracy Now! will get $50 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else. Thank you! -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Trump-Linked Firm Cambridge Analytica Harvested 50M Facebook Users’ Data

HeadlineMar 19, 2018

In a startling revelation about the 2016 U.S. election, it’s been revealed that a voter-profiling company named Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 50 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump.

Cambridge Analytica was founded by billionaire Robert Mercer. Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon of Breitbart News was one of the company’s key strategists.

The Facebook data was first obtained by a Cambridge University academic named Aleksandr Kogan, whose company Global Science Research built an app that paid Facebook users to take a personality test and agree to have their data collected. The app also collected the data of these users’ friends, meaning it actually collected data from tens of millions of users without their knowledge.

Cambridge Analytica then bought this data in order to turn a voter-profiling company into a powerful psychological tool, which began launching targeted political ads aimed at carrying out Robert Mercer’s far-right political agenda. This is whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who worked with Aleksandr Kogan to obtain the data from Facebook.

Christopher Wylie: “It was a grossly unethical experiment, because you are playing with an entire country, the psychology of an entire country, without their consent or awareness. And not only are you like playing with the psychology of an entire nation, you’re playing with the psychology of an entire nation in the context of the democratic process.”

The London Observer, The Guardian and The New York Times all helped break the story.

The revelations of the massive data breach and its role in the 2016 election has caused widespread backlash from both U.S. and British lawmakers, who are now calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify. This firestorm comes after Facebook has already faced massive backlash over how the platform was used to spread Russian propaganda ahead of the election.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop