The Facebook started as a network to help you find and discover your childhood friends, and ended up raising and lowering governments. How can someone use your data in Facebook to change the voting results in the next elections? How can Facebook to affect the election?
First of all, let's see why analysts love it Facebook. Although full of memes and videos with cats, the strategy coordinators of a political campaign find it very interesting.
Personal information is the kind of data that is necessary for political actors who want to plan how to influence the masses, and how to improve their political campaign-rhetoric.
To win the election, a political party must show that it is close to what is really happening. The public has fears, concerns and expectations for their country and their lives. If a political party can accurately recognize all this, it can use it to win the election.
The Facebook is a great way to analyze these different demographics. From hobbies to career choices to political thinking, anyone interested can gather a wealth of useful information from Facebook that they can use to influence voters.
How its data is collected Facebook;
The Facebook, records any information given by each profile. Photos, friends lists, likes, notifications, posts, and more. Political analysts need more information, and of course the platform can make it available in many different ways.
How many times have you encountered a personality test that measures certain elements: transparency, conscientiousness, agreement, extroversion and nervousness. These five characteristics can be used to create a psychological profile. This "allows" users to make their data available for free.
A personality test lets you answer some personal questions because researchers want to know which Harry Potter character suits you best. Participants in the test can share the results with their friends, who then do the test themselves.
So analysts create tests that ask for these five characteristics mentioned above. Analyzing the data, along with all the other information that a profile has, can create a psychological profile that is a little far from reality.
How do campaigns use data?
When analysts create the profiles of a country's citizens, we move on to the next section. Advertising. The advertising campaigns will have a psychological map that will tell them what you like, what you are afraid of and what are your expectations from a new government.
So advertisers can now more safely use these points in targeted ads that show you information related to your profile.
For example, if your psychological profile shows that you are afraid of crime, you will see advertisements claiming that the political party has as its main goal to fight crime. If family is important to you, you will see ads stating that the candidate political party will take care of family cohesion.
How did it affect Facebook the US elections in 2016?
To see if all of the above work, let's remember what happened in the US election in 2016. There are many who claim that President Donald Trump would never do such a thing and that he won the election fairly.
OR Cambridge Analytica (CA) offered a very large influence on the Trump campaign. The company specializes in creating psychological profiles of users for better targeting of ads. So the Republican Party collaborated with the CA on Trump's campaign.
But before we get to Donald Trump, the Cambridge Analytica already had a database of American citizens. One of the most successful sources of this data collection was a quiz called "This is Your Digital Life". This quiz asked users questions about their personalities and lives.
320.000 people took this quiz, as reported by The Straits Times. However, in 2015, the confidentiality of his data Facebook it was not as strict as it is now. Thus the quiz could gather information about the friends and contacts of each participant without his permission. This resulted in the creation 50 million profiles from a quiz.
Before the elections, the Cambridge Analytica used these profiles for marketing purposes only. After the company was approached by the Republican Party, he began using the data to guide the election campaign to target the right people.
To this day, no one really knows how influential she was Cambridge Analytica in the US elections in 2016.
In any case, her scandal Cambridge Analytica was so big, that the company was finally forced to close in May 2018.
The documentary The Great Hack was released in 2019 and is related to the data scandal Facebook-Cambridge Analytica. It premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary section and was released by Netflix on July 24, 2019. We highly recommend you to watch it.
How effective was this targeted advertising campaign?
There is no substantial evidence that Cambridge Analytica greatly influenced the vote. There is no document or statistic that can prove that the targeted ads changed voters' minds.
What is known, however, is that the Cambridge Analytica used data from Facebook to help a political campaign. Whether the attempt was successful or not, the point is that it happened. So if you are worried about this you should take immediate steps to protect your data online.
The best way to stop companies from collecting data from your profile is to eliminate it.
Personality quizzes are fun, but you do not know who is behind it. Innocent questions like "Which superhero are you" essentially ask for very personal information. If of course the questionnaire starts asking for your email, name, date of birth or any other personal information, it would be good to close it immediately.