Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence foreign elections

0
1659

The BBC said it has seen documents – related to the investigation against Cambridge Analytica – that indicates the company interfered in foreign elections.

According to documents seen by the BBC, parent companies linked to Cambridge Analytica would have campaigned in foreign elections in Nigeria, Latvia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The question is whether Cambridge Analytica would have shared Facebook or other social media data with the parent company.

The documents, in the form of brochures by a parent company SCL Elections, is believed to have been published prior to 2014,

Cambridge Analytica is accused of exploiting the data of millions of Facebook users.

The revelation of meddling in elections will boost claims that Facebook data was used to influence the American Presidential elections.

Facebook and other social media data is also used in countries like Malaysia by other ‘polling’ firms.

In Malaysia, Politweet is also using Facebook data to determine which among the opposition or the government curry the favours of the voters in several states ahead of this year’s polls.

The brochure outlines how SCL Elections had apparently organised “anti-election rallies” in the Nigerian presidential election in 2007.

The election was described by EU monitors as one of the least credible they had observed, said the BBC.

The document also claims of deliberate exploitation of ethnic tensions in Latvia in the 2006 national elections in order to help their client.

Ahead of the elections in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010, it orchestrated an “ambitious campaign of political graffiti”.

The plan was that the graffiti “ostensibly came from the youth” so the client party could “claim credit for listening to a ‘united youth'”.

The UK Foreign Office says it was unaware of this alleged activity prior to SCL being awarded British government contracts in 2008.

Cambridge Analytica says it is looking into the allegations about SCL.

Analysts and observers in the UK are saying this is “absolutely appalling” and “run totally counter to the policy of the British government in promoting free and fair elections in the developing world”.

In a statement, the acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Dr Alexander Tayler, said “Cambridge Analytica was formed in 2013, out of a much older company called SCL Elections, the BBC reported.