The big Brexit mystery

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Lerkst

Active Member
Cambridge Analytica (CA) had helped to influence elections around the world for a very long time. I don't think this is in dispute.

Protagonists in election campaigns are allowed to lie and attempt to convince people - this is considered completely normal and widely accepted. Politicians are, after all, renowned for their dishonesty in making good on their election promises. Arguably the type of people who want to be in power are naturally probably the best deceivers of all of us.

Is lying the same as what Cambridge Analytica did though? The difference, as far as I can see is the level of targeting. Lying went on of course on the Leave and Remain sides - but that is normal.

What bothers me most is that, while CA helped achieve results in many elections, this intervention was so high-tech and so finely targeted as to be of a significantly higher order than in previous efforts.

If we even suspect that Military Grade information manipulation may have been used during the Brexit referendum then I still cannot understand why the whole thing was not declared invalid especially given the closeness of the result and the potential magnitude and long-lasting effects of the outcome.

It is nothing new that humans are almost hopelessly malleable - advertisers wouldn't advertise unless that were the case. I would go as far as saying that we are almost powerless over being manipulated and it could be regarded by some as being the ultimate weakness, even fragility of humankind.

So, do you think the level of manipulation at this level would be going too far? Are subconscious manipulations going too far?

I am not siding with anyone - it is a question about how far things should be allowed to go in elections, not a prelude to a discussion on whether it is true or not
 
Last edited:

gamerste

Suspended
1.6 billion targeted ads in the last 4 days leading up to the vote.
Plus millions of pounds filtered and funneled to other offshoots of CA
 

Squiffy

Distinguished Member
CA were not involved in the referendum. It's as simple as that.

They did some scoping work but did not win a contract or do any actual work.

As shown after a formal investigation by the ICO.
 

Squiffy

Distinguished Member
They worked for vote leave
No, they did not.

Revealed: the ties that bind Vote Leave's data firm to controversial Cambridge Analytica
Addendum, 29 March 2018: we are happy to clarify that we did not intend to suggest that AggregateIQ is a direct part and/or the Canadian branch of Cambridge Analytica or that it has been involved in the exploitation of Facebook data or otherwise in any of the alleged wrongdoing made against Cambridge Analytica. Further we did not intend to suggest that AIQ secretly and unethically coordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU Referendum.

No evidence that the two Leave campaigns worked with Cambridge Analytica, data protection watchdog finds
Claims that the two Leave campaigns worked with the data harvesting firm Cambridge Analytica have been dismissed as baseless in an official investigation by the information watchdog.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has knocked down a series of high-profile allegations levelled against the official and unofficial Brexit groups, confirming it has found “no evidence” to support allegations they used the company’s services.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
upload_2019-9-7_19-24-14.jpeg


just saying...

If you can explain how CA targetted me and influenced my vote I might listen.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
CA were not involved in the referendum. It's as simple as that.

They did some scoping work but did not win a contract or do any actual work.

As shown after a formal investigation by the ICO.
I don't want to get into conspiracy theories.

You are quite right about the ICO report end of 2018. There has been been quite of lot of other info since however. New evidence was officialy submitted for example about 5 weeks ago to the DCMS Commitee. CA were the "goto guys" to influence elections remember.

The CA breach of the Data Protection act with Facebook aside which showed it was *possible* to do what the accusers were saying, we are too far along the road to Brexit now for this to be called off - it would only add to the chaos and I think it would be most unwelcome news to admit at this point. No, we have Brexit and that is the end of that.

However, maybe you could answer if you think it *would* be going too far if the whistle blowers were right?
 

officerdibble11

Active Member
Cambridge Analytica (CA) had helped to influence elections around the world for a very long time. I don't think this is in dispute.

Protagonists in election campaigns are allowed to lie and attempt to convince people - this is considered completely normal and widely accepted. Politicians are, after all, renowned for their dishonesty in making good on their election promises. Arguably the type of people who want to be in power are naturally probably the best deceivers of all of us.

Is lying the same as what Cambridge Analytica did though? The difference, as far as I can see is the level of targeting. Lying went on of course on the Leave and Remain sides - but that is normal.

What bothers me most is that, while CA helped achieve results in many elections, this intervention was so high-tech and so finely targeted as to be of a significantly higher order than in previous efforts.

If we even suspect that Military Grade information manipulation may have been used during the Brexit referendum then I still cannot understand why the whole thing was not declared invalid especially given the closeness of the result and the potential magnitude and long-lasting effects of the outcome.

It is nothing new that humans are almost hopelessly malleable - advertisers wouldn't advertise unless that were the case. I would go as far as saying that we are almost powerless over being manipulated and it could be regarded by some as being the ultimate weakness, even fragility of humankind.

So, do you think the level of manipulation in this case went too far? Are subconscious manipulations going too far?
What a load of old bollox.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
View attachment 1192547

just saying...

If you can explain how CA targetted me and influenced my vote I might listen.
Statistcs say that you are probably one of the 70% of people who didn't have to be influenced - they simply would not have bothered, were the accusations against them true. You don't sound like a ditherer. I can guess from the tone of your update that you were not influenced at all - it is about the people that were. It is only a small percentage.

Your location, likes, dislikes, political affiliations, friends, job etc etc will simply determine that if you are a Facebook user. Logic is the way it works. You won't know - it is an algorithm. You have provided the information already. Geddit?
 

Lerkst

Active Member
What a load of old bollox.
I do not have a TV and have not watched it for 20 years. When you do that you can quite clearly see how people are influenced - I only have to listen to conversations at work and see what people buy (which I have never heard of) to know that. It is not a theory - I experience it directly.
 

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
View attachment 1192547

just saying...

If you can explain how CA targetted me and influenced my vote I might listen.
As noted by @Lerkst you were probably not a target.

Nobody is in any doubt about Cummings’s brilliance: he’s advertised it widely, and written thousands of words about his strategy on his blog – about how he spent 98% of his budget online; how Vote Leave’s ads received nearly a billion impressions; and how, in the end, it came down to just 600,000 people, or just over 1% of registered votes. “A small enough margin,” he notes, that “a few specific events and decisions” made all the difference.

He’s also been very specific about the pivotal role played by AIQ. The firm’s website featured a quote from Cummings about Brexit: “We couldn’t have done it without them.” This was removed from the site this week. AIQ told the Observer that “the services it provided to Vote Leave were in accordance with instructions given by Vote Leave”, and “the services provided to BeLeave were in accordance given by BeLeave”.

The final weeks of the Brexit campaign were the most crucial. On his blog, Cummings says they code-named the period “Waterloo” and ramped up its spending, bombarding the small sliver of people it had identified as “persuadable” with every kind of ad. And it worked. Cummings’s campaign was a triumph. It had overcome all the odds. There’s no doubt that he won the war of the internet.

The Brexit whistleblower: ‘Did Vote Leave use me? Was I naive'
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
That might explain it then :rotfl:

How did CA target all the old people that voted Leave and don't use Social Media?
That's two of us then , guess some out there can still make their own minds up :smashin:.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Yes, absolutely right - IF you are a Facebook user or Twitter user. I am not either.
Me neither. Yet we are told that the young people voted remain, and the old people voted leave.

Let's say that doug's figure of 600,000 is correct. Leave would still have won. They only needed one vote, but still got 600,000 un-influenced votes, by those figures.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
Me neither. Yet we are told that the young people voted remain, and the old people voted leave.
"We are told...?" That's influence, right there. Basis for a guess at best. I doubt if we will ever know.

Anyway, my question was: would it be going too far if this kind of influence were possible? Should this be a problem for democracy?
 

Squiffy

Distinguished Member
I don't want to get into conspiracy theories.
You are aware of what you are posting right?

CA didn't do any work in the referendum. That's a simple fact.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
You are aware of what you are posting right?

CA didn't do any work in the referendum. That's a simple fact.
Facts are hard to come by. We'll never know for sure.

I think you have misunderstood my post. My question is: If such manipulation were possible would it be a problem. I may have worded it wrongly. I will edit it to try and make it clearer
 

Lerkst

Active Member
Facts are hard to come by. We'll never know for sure.

I think you have misunderstood my post. My question is: If such manipulation were possible would it be a problem. I may have worded it wrongly. I will edit it to try and make it clearer
Now it reads:

So, do you think the level of manipulation at this level would be going too far? Are subconscious manipulations going too far?

I am not siding with anyone - it is a question about how far things should be allowed to go in elections, not a prelude to a discussion on whether it is true or not
 

Squiffy

Distinguished Member
Facts are hard to come by. We'll never know for sure.

I think you have misunderstood my post. My question is: If such manipulation were possible would it be a problem. I may have worded it wrongly. I will edit it to try and make it clearer
No it wouldn't be a problem. But it should be regulated as it already is.

Or do you think all advertising for goods and services should be abolished too?
 

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
Me neither. Yet we are told that the young people voted remain, and the old people voted leave.

Let's say that doug's figure of 600,000 is correct. Leave would still have won. They only needed one vote, but still got 600,000 un-influenced votes, by those figures.
Not all young people voted remain. The whistleblower referred to in the link I gave was firmly in the leave camp and aged 22.

Not my figures but Dominic Cummings.

While still a win it's not really a resounding one...
17,410,742 - 600,000 = 16,810,742
16,141,241 + 600,000 = 16,741,241
diference between them then 69,501 votes or 50.103% vs 49.897%

It was influenced votes not uninfluenced ones that Cummings would be referring to.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
No it wouldn't be a problem. But it should be regulated as it already is.

Or do you think all advertising for goods and services should be abolished too?
Nope. Elections are more important that washing powder. Am interested to know how this level of intrusion is regulated, considering, as I said in my original post, that lying and making false promises are obviously allowed? Please let us know (I donlt mean that as a dig - just interested).
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Not all young people voted remain. The whistleblower referred to in the link I gave was firmly in the leave camp and aged 22.

Not my figures but Dominic Cummings.

While still a win it's not really a resounding one...
17,410,742 - 600,000 = 16,810,742
16,141,241 + 600,000 = 16,741,241
diference between them then 69,501 votes or 50.103% vs 49.897%

It was influenced votes not uninfluenced ones that Cummings would be referring to.
Fair point, but 69,501 is 69,500 more than the one required ;)
 

Lerkst

Active Member
The official figures are there and have been discussed on here for years. :facepalm:
I am dubious myself of anything told to me by a government. But it's a free country. Having discussed something for years on here does not make it true - it just makes it "discussed for years".
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Nope. Elections are more important that washing powder. Am interested to know how this level of intrusion is regulated, considering, as I said in my original post, that lying and making false promises are obviously allowed? Please let us know (I donlt mean that as a dig - just interested).
The most obvious intrusion was the Government's own leaflet that was sent to every home regardless of age or whether they used social media. That urged us to vote remain.

£9 million? how much is Leave alleged to have given CA?
 
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