Last week, Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica—the political data firm run by Steve Bannon and funded by Rebekah Mercer. According to news reports, the data firm mined personal data from social media accounts to target voters with conspiracy theories, fake news stories, rumors, and other politically explosive content meant to sway voter opinion. Cambridge Analytica is widely credited with helping the pro-Brexit campaign in the UK and the Trump campaign in the US.
Channel 4, a British television station, followed up Mr. Wylie’s information with a secretly recorded sting against Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Andrew Nix. On camera, Mr. Nix is seen suggesting bribing political incumbents and setting up opponents in sexual situations to embarrass them. Mr. Nix subsequently claimed the filmed segments were edited to make him look bad and did not accurately reflect the conversation.
Regardless, the latest revelations show the influence data firms like Cambridge Analytica have on the electorates around the world. Whether—and how—governments should regulate such efforts is now a hot topic for discussion in the US, UK, and beyond.
What do you think? Are you concerned about Cambridge Analytica’s actions?
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