Elder Patriot – While the mainstream media went apoplectic today over Cambridge Analytica’s ability to mine the personal data of 50 million Americans in support of the Trump campaign, they actually praised Obama’s campaign team for doing the same thing in securing his 2008 election when Eric Schmidt led Obama’s data analytics efforts.
At the time the media touted Obama’s brilliance. Today they castigate Republicans for even approximating Obama’s 2008 efforts.
By 2012, when Obama was running for re-election, Facebook actually looked the other way to allow his campaign team to access the personal information of virtually every American even after they had discovered the breach. And, the New York Times lauded Team Obama’s ingenuity:
Carol Davidsen who had served as Obama’s director for media analytics during the 2012 campaign made the shocking revelation in a series of tweets yesterday.
Davidsen explained the significance of this:
“We were actually able to ingest the entire social network of the U.S. that’s on Facebook, which is most people.”
“So [then] they shut off the feature.”
“The Republicans never built an app to do that. So the data’s out there — you [Facebook] can’t take it back. The Democrats have this information, so when they look at a voter file and someone comes to them, they can immediately be like ‘Oh, here are all the other people that they know, and here are people they can help us persuade, because they’re really good friends with that person.’”
“The Republicans do not have that information and will not get that information. I’m a Democrat, so maybe I could argue that’s a great thing, but really it’s not, in the overall process. That wasn’t thought all the way through and now there’s a disadvantage of information that to me seems unfair.
The most important takeaway from Davidsen’s “come-to-Jesus” moment is that Democrats continue to hold the personal information on virtually every American solely because Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a conscious decision to allow them to access it in the first place.
The Republicans don’t have that information and never will because Facebook closed the door to them.
There is no way to ever level that playing field.
This amounts to hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars of in kind contributions to past and future Democratic candidates. And, not a penny of it was declared on FEC filings of even a single candidate.
The question that remains is what to do with Facebook. How do you sufficiently punish a company that purposely shared the personal information of its users in order to deliberately create a permanent structural distortion between America’s two major political parties?