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This is a story involving Facebook
and a company called Cambridge Analytica.
Which I know sounds like a Harry Potter spell
that does your homework, but...
it's actually a data analytics company
dedicated to one thing:
figuring out how to manipulate you at all costs.
NEWSMAN: Beginning in 2014, many Facebook users were paid
to take a personality test funded by Cambridge Analytica,
agreeing to give up some personal data.
But what they didn't know--
at the same time, the company was scooping up
all of their friends' private information, too.
So a survey that started with about 270,000 people
ultimately collected more than 50 million profiles.
All right, I'm sorry, but that's some bullshit, right?
Because your friend took this dumbass quiz,
this company you've never heard of got access to your account?
Yeah. It's like your friend boned someone,
and then you get the STD.
It's like, "What the (bleep) man."
"It was totally worth it." "Not for me."
(applause)
Now...
Now, you might be saying,
"What do I care if Cambridge Analytica got my Facebook data?
"I don't mind that people know
"that I like Ben Affleck's back tattoo.
I think it brings out his eyes."
But the truth is, the truth is, in the wrong hands,
our data can be used to do some pretty sinister things.
The level of what can be predicted about you,
based on what you like on Facebook,
is higher than that your wife would say about you,
what your parents or friends can say about you.
Cambridge Analytica will try to pick whatever mental weakness
or vulnerability that we think you have,
and try to warp your perception of what's real around you.
Okay, now, that should scare you.
Because if you've seen movies, you know that when the person
with crazy hair gets stressed out,
something really bad is going down.
It's like, "They hacked into the main frame.
I wouldn't believe you but you got purple dreadlocks."
And this was really bad, because, sure,
some people might say this is just like advertising.
It sounds just like advertising, right?
They try to get you to buy something
by tugging at your emotions.
But this is ten levels above that,
because traditional advertisers
don't know who you are, personally.
Like, imagine if Samsung knew from Facebook data
that you lost your dad last week,
so they put a message on your feed that their new phone
could contact your dad on the other side.
You would be way more likely to buy that phone.
It would tug at your heartstrings. You'd be like,
(crying): "Dad, is that you?
"Oh, my God, Dad, is that you?
"Can you tell me where you left the keys for the Camaro, please?
"I, um, yeah, I can't find them.
All right, bye. I love you."
Like, they could get to you.
And we know, we know that Cambridge Analytica
got people's data from Facebook.
We know that they figured out how to use this data
to manipulate people.
What you may not know is who they gave all that power to.
TV REPORTER: The data firm hired by Donald Trump's
presidential election campaign
used secretly obtained information
from tens of millions of unsuspecting Facebook users
to directly target potential American voters.
The entire operation centered around deception,
false grassroots support, and a strategy
that seems to border on electronic brainwashing.
You see, using Cambridge Analytica's tools,
Trump's campaign figured out a way to manipulate people,
or as they called it, "electronic brainwashing."
Which also happens to be the name of my favorite
Daft Punk album. Yeah.
It's the one with that song that goes like,
(electronic-like vocalizing)
No, no. It's the other one. The one that goes,
(electronic-like vocalizing)
Is that the-- No, no. It's the one where it's like,
(electronic-like vocalizing)
Yeah, that one. That one.
Here's an example, here's an example
of how the Trump campaign used Cambridge Analytica's tools.
Cambridge Analytica figured out that the phrase
"drain the swamp" made people angry
at career politicians, and this would make them want
to vote for Donald Trump, and I'm not making this up.
Trump told us this himself.
It was a term that was actually given to me.
Usually, I like to think them up myself,
but this was given to me.
But they had this expression, "drain the swamp."
And I hated it.
I thought it was so hokey.
I said that is the hokiest. Give me a break.
I'm embarrassed to say it.
And I was in Florida,
where 25,000 people going wild.
And I said, "And we will drain the swamp."
The place went crazy.
I couldn't believe it.
Yeah, neither could we.
You know, you always think it's unrealistic
when Bond villains reveal their entire scheme,
and then you see this, and you're like, yeah.
(mimics Trump): "And you see, Mr. Bond, unless someone finds
"the hidden switch under my castle,
"no one will be able to stop the bomb.
That's why-- Oh, he's gone. Oh, no."
(normal voice): So thanks to Cambridge Analytica,
Trump knew "drain the swamp"
would drum up anti-establishment votes.
People who might have never voted before.
But here's the thing, don't get it twisted.
They might be able to use these tools
to push you in a certain direction,
but they couldn't completely trick you
into voting for Donald Trump.
And you know how we know this?
Because of this:
We haven't spoken about the fact that Ted Cruz,
who was also a presidential candidate,
also used Cambridge Analytica.
His campaign was a disaster.
Yeah.
All the electric brainwashing in the world
can't make people like Ted Cruz.
All of it.
-All of it. -(cheers and applause)
Like, you could hypnotize someone.
You could you be like, You're a dog. (barks)
You're a chicken. (gobbles)
You like Ted Cruz. I'm not hypnotized.
This is bull. Like, this...
Hypnosis doesn't even work, man.
Basically, Trump didn't create new fears in people, right?
He found a way to appeal to fears and desires
that already existed, you know?
And they used Facebook,
in the same way that Facebook will be like,
"Hey, remember your friend Steve from high school?"
Except this time it was like, "Hey, remember
how you're scared of brown people? Yeah."
And I'm gonna be honest with you.
The fact that Donald Trump used Cambridge Analytica's tools
isn't the worst thing that happened here.
Every politician will use the tools
at their disposal to get votes.
Obama did a similar thing himself.
My problem is with Facebook.
They need to be held accountable,
because not only did they turn a blind eye
to Cambridge Analytica using this data,
but they also didn't tell their users that this was happening.
At the same time, though,
it's responsibility to be vigilant.
Like, in the year 2018,
you just have to assume everything you click online,
everything you watch, every website you visit,
will be collecting data on you,
and that data will be used eventually
to try and sell you something.
Even the people on the places you trust,
they're all just trying to sell you something.
Never forget that.
And now, a word from our sponsors.
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Electronic Brainwashing: Cambridge Analytica's Sinister Facebook Strategy | The Daily Show

281 Folder Collection
Samuel published on March 24, 2018
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