How Cambridge Analytica Got Trump Elected in 2016

Updated on July 29, 2019

In 2016, Trump won in three battleground states and some 70,000 voters. Behind the scenes of the Trump campaign (and its opposition), the private data mined from the internet, Facebook, and Google, all contributed to painting a picture (mapping) of voters across the USA and in specific battleground states.

Trump's campaign saturated Facebook and other platforms with nearly 6 million anti-opponent ads, mostly in a fear-mongering manner or in hateful depictions of his rival. The Democrats used around 67,000 of the same type against Trump.

The data gathered by these internet companies was freely given by millions of unsuspecting voters and users in various innocent forms.

Enter Cambridge Analytica

This firm was hired by the Trump campaign to help persuade the undecided voters in America to vote Trump. These used the data from primarily Facebook to profile American voters with 5000 points of data and then used this info to create hateful, racist ads to divide Americans. They created the "Lock her up" phrase and other anti-Clinton ads and flooded social media outlets with them, focusing in the key battleground states and those swing voters. They used other tactics to dissuade the black vote from going out and vote or suppress the vote because, if it worked, Trump would gain from it (and he did).

This same firm used the same techniques in the UK (it was a UK firm) for Brexit, which proved highly successful, for Britain is in fact leaving the Common Market of Europe. They were also hired in Trinidad to suppress the black vote in a recent election when the Indian opposition wanted to win to control the government. The company created a campaign targeting young voters and, through social media, convinced them that not voting is the voice of opposition and a cool thing. When the election came, the Indian candidate won because of low black turnout.

Dark New World

There is nothing illegal about this. Cambridge Analytica is like what the Beatles were for rock—they changed everything in rock music, and CA has done the same to having fair elections.

While Cambridge Analytica is now defunct, its offspring and seeds of disinformation propaganda have spread and been learned by others that emulate it with the same tactics, namely using social media. While CA was rather innocent about it all (as it's just a business), Russia, China, Iran, and nearly any bad actor have learned many of the tactics to swing their internal elections.

When you add the Russian efforts to the CA tactics during the 2016 Trump campaign, it is staggering. Trump knew all about CA and how they might help his campaign, but really did not know much about the Russian effort, which happened to want the same result that CA did—Trump's victory. Of course, when Trump did find out about Russian interference, he welcomed it, which for a man running for president is ethically despicable. But Trump did not need the Russian help, which was minuscule when compared to CA, which did their job very well.

Future elections will be forever tainted now. In 2020, both sides will be using Cambridge Analytica's tactics, using the data of millions and narrowing down to which battleground states and specific districts the election will come down to. They will target nasty, hateful ads, with lies and images in those key areas to persuade the undecided voter to vote for their candidate or perhaps not to vote at all. Already, on Facebook, one is seeing those ads, whether they are obviously for a Republican or Democrat.

Cambridge Analytica opened the governments of the world to just how the personal data of voters gleaned from Facebook and other social media can be used to steer an election. The next time you see a political post on Facebook, ask yourself, is it a fact? If you are unsure, check multiple sources of news or research.

Protect yourself, your data, your vote.

Questions & Answers

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      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        4 months ago

        It will only get worse...

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        4 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        The next president will spend her first week just signing executive orders to put the county back on track.

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        4 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        Oh, Perry. Don't ask.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        4 months ago

        Trump's strategy to divide and conquer over racial issues and more will only show what a horrible man can be. I am kind of surprised some left wing nut or other has not attempted something nefariously bad against POTUS. How much worse can this get?

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        4 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        revving its economy - So we see where your heart lies. Trump has no fruit of the spirit, by which you know who has a relationship with God and who doesn't. He has shown himself to be deplorable from way before he became a candidate. I'm sorry, sir, but I question your judgement.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 

        4 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Correct, Perry. The racists elected Trump the first time even though they were in the minority. You can see they're still in love with the cretin by the comments here. Don't think it will work again though.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        4 months ago

        If the only thing you care about is the economy with regards to Trump, then, fine, I give you that for now, but that can change. What does not change is a 70 yr old racist views of people of color from a rich boy perspective. Trump may be feeding his base of 40%, and you may believe everything you see posted on FB as gospel truth, but Trump cannot win without a majority of latino and black vote, and using racist hate speech will backfire. If you think Trump has been approve by God, then your saying God is a racist and hate monger, which befits satan. If the economy dives, will you still love Trump?

      • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

        Wesman Todd Shaw 

        4 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

        'God has nothing to do with Trump.' - I find your comprehension of God to be very lacking, Sir.

        'Many think Trump is satan' - and many think evil is good.

        You can't bring down a nation by revving its economy up far beyond what it had previously been, that's improving a nation. You Sir, seem to be living in a backwards world.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        4 months ago

        LOL, God has nothing to do with Trump. Hopefully, the lunatics will see the light. Many think Trump is satan and bringing down America who has turned away from God. It's all nonsense because CA was a MAJOR reason why Trump narrowly won.

      • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

        Wesman Todd Shaw 

        4 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

        Trump will win in 2020 the same way he won in 2016 - by being the only candidate for the best interests of the United States, and the citizens of the United States.

        It's very very simple. You sell out to globalist interests, and you're NOT for the US citizen, or the United States.

        Most American citizens have become so much more informed now, in the wake of all the hoaxes perpetuated by the monstrous persons owning mass media, and career deep state entities.

        I'm so very very thankful to God above, each and every day, that Donald J. Trump is POTUS, and will continue to be.

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