Just Say No

This story got buried under the news of Andrew McCabe’s firing on Friday, but it’s important if we want to elect people who can bring about responsible government. That starts now, as we move toward November’s elections.

You know those cute little quizzes that are supposed to tell you something about who you are? Which movie star are you? Are you a cat or a dog person? What is your color? So much fun to compare with what you think of yourself and with your friends’ results. In fact, you could share on Facebook and urge your friends to see what their favorite color was. Those quizzes asked you to share most of your Facebook data before you could play.

You may have been contributing data to Cambridge Analytica’s work to help elect Donald Trump.

Facebook posted a notice yesterday that they were suspending Cambridge Analytica and their parent firm, Strategic Communications Limited. An app developer at the University of Cambridge, Aleksandr Kogan, was passing information from Facebook to Cambridge Analytica, in violation of his agreement with Facebook. The app was “thisisyourdigitallife,” which he claimed to be based on psychology research. When Facebook learned of this violation, they removed the app and asked all parties to delete the data they had received.

Guess what? They didn’t.

The New York Times and the Observer of London did a joint investigation of how Cambridge Analytica got the data and what they did with it. Christopher Wylie, who helped found the firm and worked there until 2014, is now blowing the whistle on them.

Christopher Wylie, who helped found Cambridge and worked there until late 2014, said of its leaders: “Rules don’t matter for them. For them, this is a war, and it’s all fair.”

“They want to fight a culture war in America,” he added. “Cambridge Analytica was supposed to be the arsenal of weapons to fight that culture war.”

Cambridge Analytica now has data from 50 million Facebook users.

The Robert Mueller team and British Parliament and regulators are looking into Cambridge Analytica’s role in the US presidential and “Brexit” elections. In the first, they were working for Donald Trump, and in the second, for “Leave.”

Kogan’s app was central to this; he was working for Cambridge Analytica.

We still don’t know exactly how they used the data in the campaigns, and they’re not saying.

There’s a lot more at the New York Times and the Guardian. Read those stories and, for goodness sake, DON’T EVER USE AN APP THAT ASKS FOR ACCESS TO ALL YOUR DATA! Or big parts of it.

Update: Here’s the Observer’s big piece.

 

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.

 






120 replies
  1. 1

    […] Cross-posted to Balloon Juice. […]

  2. 2
    randy khan says:

    Whether or not they’re associated with Cambridge, all of those quizzes that come directly in your feed are harvesting data on you. That’s a good reason not to click on them regardless of who sponsors them.

  3. 3
    kindness says:

    It’s a brave new world out there every day. It’s hard to cover your ass when the rules change constantly. I use FB but don’t live there. FB is not our friend. Most all of Social Media were used as bullhorns by the bad guys last election and still are because ad revenue dollars. Well, we won’t get the regulations we need under this Congress. Get people registered. Get people who need them IDs. Get out the vote and keep getting out the vote every election. It’s what we have to do.

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    I never trust FB; never share when the post prompts, because I suspect they’re tracking social networks.

    I want the Mercers to go down, hard.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    A few notes:

    1) It was the Mercers.
    2) It’s likely that the ‘psychographic’ methods that CA claims to use are bullshit.
    3) Facebook is entirely complicit. Ask yourself, ‘What does Facebook give me that I just can’t give up’?
    4) And, just btw, if you have Alexa, aka ‘an open mic in your home connected to Amazon’s servers’, you’re next.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:

    I don’t do farce book. Never did, never will. But I’m just a querulous old fart living in the 20th century.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    So deeply cynical how they harvested and used this. As one allergic to the whole FB concept I probably wouldn’t have waded into their trap, but FB was the first internet social forum for many and I can easily imagine the lack of sophistication making them easy targets.

    Heard this morning about Russians using FB to harvest legit business contacts from businesses using it as a marketing platform. They are sitting on a mountain of personal data.

  8. 8
    Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.) says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Those Mercer people are as bad as the Kochs. They seem to keep more out of sight, but they’re no less awful.

  9. 9
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    OT – Discovered the approach to Peak Asshole Wingnut on a flight from Louisville to CLT this morning.

    Business class, an Irish Monsignor (Roman Catholic for you heathens) seated ahead of us. He’s middle aged, in cassock, quite dapper and pleasant. Drawling wingnut is sitting next to him, and starts talking about the Sunday School class he’s “teaching” tomorrow, talking about Ezekiel and playing an appalling game of “Stump the Well-Educated Papist”.

    It didn’t go like wingnut expected.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.) says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    So what happened? Don’t leave us hanging.

  12. 12
    cosima says:

    I hate FB. Only begrudgingly joined in 2015 b/c we were moving and it was a good way to sell off a lot of our belongings on the local FB buy/swap/sell.

    Other things related to this issue that I found on a UK news site — Kogan was a prof at St. Petersburg, received grant money from the Russian gov. Facebook’s UK top guy flat-out lied his arse off to parliament while questioned about this. I saw a different headline that said the real numbers would have been over 100 million. Phuck FB and their evil bullshit. https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/revealed-50-million-facebook-profiles-harvested-for-cambridge-analytica-in-major-data-breach/ar-BBKkN7C?ocid=sf

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    Are you suggesting there are different outcomes to getting your religious education in a seminary versus an arena?

    Arenas do have the advantage of volume, they can really crank out the experts.

  14. 14
    efgoldman says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    talking about Ezekiel and playing an appalling game of “Stump the Well-Educated Papist”.

    Flying monkeys can believe in any imaginary sky buddy they wish, but what happened to common courtesy and consideration?
    The old traitor segregationists at least had manners.

  15. 15
    Washburn says:

    Here’s a GoFundMe for McCabe’s retirement: https://www.gofundme.com/8t3wn-andrew-mccabe-retirement

    I don’t know if the person who started this is reputable. I would sort of like to see someone accepted as trustworthy do this and then for it to receive millions of dollars that McCabe, being a decent and honorable person, would then dole out to charities and stay in the news cycle until the election.

  16. 16
    Emma says:

    @efgoldman: As the meme goes, come sit by me. No Facebook, no Twitter. Nada.

  17. 17
    CaseyL says:

    I’ve taken a few of the FB quizzes because they’re fun, and discount the results because it seems they’re pre-set and actually don’t track very well with the questions – which also seem designed to funnel you to a response/profile that doesn’t really fit.

    Harvesting my data won’t do anyone any good, because I’m an Old. I don’t base my vote on the ephemera of social media but on a lifetime of studying history, current events, and paying attention to issues and people.

  18. 18
    Washburn says:

    @randy khan:

    Oh my god, a platform that exists solely to extract data from you and monetize it for advertisers and purchasers of that data is gathering data on its users??!?!?!?!?

  19. 19
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Thanks for reminding me that closing my Facebook account six years ago was not anti-social, but smart.

  20. 20
    efgoldman says:

    @Emma:

    No Facebook, no Twitter. Nada.

    I watch some tweeter feeds, but i don’t join. I have no account.

  21. 21

    YouTube is pretty terrible too. So don’t exempt Google from the opprobrium, even pausing search history and viewing history does nothing to stop them from tracking you.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    Your Observer of London link goes to The Guardian.

    Are they the same publication?

  23. 23
    CaseyL says:

    @hellslittlestangel: I often think about doing likewise, but FB really is a good way to keep in touch with people, esp. folks who are a few Kevin Bacon degrees away from your immediate circle.

  24. 24

    Also too, fuck Anand Girdharidas for this bullshit.

    To paraphrase, the trouble with America is that red and blue America are not talking to each other.
    How many versions of this brain dead drivel do we have to suffer?

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    IOW, Facebook is far more worried about violations of its terms of service than it is about violations of American sovereignty.

  26. 26
    Mike J says:

    Am I clear that they’re accused of scraping public facing web pages?

  27. 27
    Fair Economist says:

    @Washburn: As many people have pointed out, McCabe isn’t going to need a pension. He’ll get a pretty penny for the tell-all book and can earn another fortune as a consultant/lobbyist. Better to donate to Democratic candidates to protect the thousands of decent but nonnewsworthy government employees Trump is busily driving out right now.

  28. 28

    @Elizabelle: Yes. The Observer is the Guardian’s Sunday magazine.

  29. 29
    RSA says:

    @CaseyL:

    FB really is a good way to keep in touch with people

    This is why I hang on to FB. I made friends with a bunch of people online at a now-defunct site, and we all sort of migrated to FB. I’d miss my interaction with them.

  30. 30

    @Roger Moore: That’s how I read the FB statement.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    Matthew Yglesias Retweeted

    Lisa Bloom
    ‏@LisaBloom
    13h13 hours ago
    More
    If a court orders Stormy Daniels to pay $20 million I’ll eat my bar card.
    Trump is fighting so hard because he needs to keep all the other women scared into silence.

    He’s a thug, Trump, and he threatens people all the time, but I wonder about this situation. She has something that is humiliating to him. Not the affair- he and his fans think that it’s great, shows he’s a manly man, but something personal and humiliating. She won’t go away either. You just get this sense of panic, all out of proportion. It isn’t the possible illegality involved, they have absolute contempt for laws, so it has to be what she could show.

  32. 32

    @Mike J: No. Cambridge Analytica, through a cutout, used an app to access all the data of people who used it, and apparently more. Read the Times article for the full explanation.

  33. 33

  34. 34
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @MattF: The use of a so-called word like “psychographic” is a good indication that you’re dealing with Scientology-level malevolent bullshit.

  35. 35
    cosima says:

    @schrodingers_cat: He lost me at ‘Great’ America — which is somehow different from ‘Woke’ America (which, actually, is what I personally would consider great America). And then he talked about Russian bots dividing families — wait, I thought it was the racism/misogyny/xenophobia/etc. that divided them? It smelled a lot like the recent piece that The Atlantic had about Bobo being sad about the current crop of uncivilised uni students being rude to White Nationalists who come to tell them how stupid they are. Perhaps Anand is hoping to be the next Ta Nehisi Coates.

  36. 36
    Washburn says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The money isn’t really for McCabe.

    It is to express solidarity with him and against the feckless cowards in the Trump administration.

    If it gets a few million dollars it will be in the news every day. If, as I anticipate McCabe then turns around and parcels out the money to different charities, it is in the news again and again.

    It is about dominating the news cycle.

  37. 37
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @CaseyL: Yeah, that’s why I need occasional reminding that it was a good thing to give it up.

  38. 38
    cosima says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That’s the one I shared on my evil (personal) FB page! The graphic flow chart makes it easy enough for even RWNJs to understand.

  39. 39

    @cosima: I tried to read his book about India, I couldn’t get past the first chapter, he is retweeted often but he is just a pompous ass.

  40. 40

    Just remember, when it comes to online services, if you’re not paying for it you’re the product that they’re selling.

    That said, yes I still use Facebook, etc. — although I never do quizzes, surveys, etc. Caveat user.

  41. 41
    Elizabelle says:

    Cambridge Analytica is one bridge to Jared Kushner, is it not, and illegal interference in the 2016 election? I wonder how much ahead of these newspapers Robert Mueller’s investigation is. Maybe it is a thread they are looking at.

  42. 42
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.):

    A polite but knowledgeable exposition of the allegorical nature of the text, as opposed to ignorant and literal interpretation by the wingnut.

    Wingnut wasn’t even appreciative of the time he got.

  43. 43
    cosima says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The new Bobo then. Hoping for a spot at NYT. Because we need more writers like that. Glob, that HP piece is such shite. I look at HP several times a day to see what their headlines are, but almost never click on them because they have gone to the purity pony side a bit too much for my taste. I’m more of a Raw Story person these days.

  44. 44
    Aimai says:

    @Washburn: this may take the cake for moronic thinking. I’m not even sure who is supposed to be stupid enough to throw money into this maelstrom. I doubt anyone here is. Why have two new posters been drumming up this ridiculous idea?

  45. 45
    Kelly says:

    I never joined facebook but my wife spends time there almost every day. Out here in the boondocks it’s become the best source of local news. Things like where the fire trucks are headed, what the school board and the little town councils are up to. Occasional charitable collecting for folks. Also the rummage sale aspect.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.):

    Those Mercer people are as bad as the Kochs. They seem to keep more out of sight, but they’re no less awful.

    They actually funded Bannon….
    Uh huh
    Uh huh

  48. 48
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Aimai: I don’t have the money to donate to McCabe — I gave every penny I had to that poor resource-depleted Roy Moore.

  49. 49
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Stupid question but if the Cambridge Analytica contribution came to the Trump campaign from abroad, isn’t that a prohibited contribution? I doubt the contribution in the form of technical services was reported to the FEC. And if the technical services were done abroad, such a contribution would be illegal. No?

  50. 50
    Mike J says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    A polite but knowledgeable exposition of the allegorical nature of the text, as opposed to ignorant and literal interpretation by the wingnut.

    Of course a better person to ask about the meaning of an “old testament” book would be a rabbi. It’s funny to hear about two non-Jewish people discussing a book written in Hebrew by Jews for Jews.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    @Roger Moore:

    IOW, Facebook is far more worried about violations of its terms of service than it is about violations of American sovereignty.

    I disagree. They’re up to their eyeballs in this, and hope that this will keep the Special Counsel off their azzes.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Cambridge Analytica is one bridge to Jared Kushner, is it not, and illegal interference in the 2016 election? I wonder how much ahead of these newspapers Robert Mueller’s investigation is. Maybe it is a thread they are looking at.

    The data always…ALWAYS…led to Kushner and the Mercers.

  53. 53
    marcopolo says:

    Here’s the thing. We all live in the information age (unless you are in a cabin in the woods growing most of your own food and using cash for all your purchases–if you are reading this then this is not you). We have developed computers that can store and crunch unimaginably large amounts of data. If you are alive and participating in the economy you are a part of it: using social media, using credit cards to purchase anything, watching TV in any form other than broadcast, etc… We get a lot of utility out of this but to think that all of this personal information, which is tracked and harvested, only will be put to some kind of benign use by large corporations is just willful naivety.

    The only solution to this is much stricter privacy laws regarding our personal information. The only path to do that is to elect enough representatives into government to pass legislation. I will help to do that but I am pretty cynical we will ever get to the place that we need to be because so much of the economy depends on corporations having access to and using the information that they harvest about us. And if you want a good fairly contemporaneous example look at what has happened vis a vis Experian since their massive unforced data hack. No significant punishment, no significant new legislation regarding protecting our data privacy, and Experian has the balls to run TV ads about how your information is out there to be purchased on the “dark web” and you really need to sign up with Experian to protect you from it.

    And that is my cranky cynical two cents–I quit using Facebook in 2013. It makes it a fair amount more difficult to stay up-to-date and involved in all the political activism I do but it is a price I am willing to pay.

  54. 54
    Washburn says:

    @Aimai:

    Do you support McCabe or Trump?

    Vote with a dollar.

    I think you can spare it.

  55. 55
    Mike J says:

    @tobie: It wasn’t a contribution, CA were vendors, not donors. Trump paid them $6M.

  56. 56
    marcopolo says:

    @Washburn: McCabe doesn’t need anyone’s fecking money. He will be fine financially with a book deal and lots of job offers that pay substantially more than his former gov’t salary. Creating funding site crap like this is no better than the conserva-grift shite like Moore and Saccone are running after their election loses telling their followers they need to raise money to continue to fight the good fight.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @Washburn:
    You’re flogging this at LGM as “jncc.” What’s your connection to the campaign?

  58. 58
    tobie says:

    @Mike J: Thanks. I forgot about the payment to CA for services.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    NMgal says:

    @Washburn: Great. Dominate a news cycle by picking a candidate or wingnut-hated nonprofit for everybody to donate to do demonstrate protest and support, not a dubious crowdfund for someone who doesn’t need it. He probably doesn’t even need a legal defense fund, though that would be more … defensible.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:
    I agree with the suggestion that at least part of it is fear that she’ll get the NDA invalidated, and that will encourage everyone else he’s ever signed an NDA with to consider if they can get theirs invalidated, too. He’s covered up so many past misdeeds behind NDAs, the risk to him if they don’t hold is incalculable.

  62. 62
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Washburn:

    I know the comment on there was probably from a wingnut but “McCabe is worth over 10m dollars”. I don’t know how true it is, and am too busy with dinner to look it up BUT if that is the case how did a career FBI employee get to amass 10m dollars? Just curious.

  63. 63

    @tobie:

    Stupid question but if the Cambridge Analytica contribution came to the Trump campaign from abroad, isn’t that a prohibited contribution? I doubt the contribution in the form of technical services was reported to the FEC. And if the technical services were done abroad, such a contribution would be illegal. No?

    As I understand it, this is one of the things that Mueller’s team is looking into.

  64. 64
    Radiumgirl says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Please. Tell me more. How did the monsignor school him?

  65. 65
    sukabi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Facebook’s statement was lame as hell. They (FB) just now suspended them for violations from 2014 and 2015? Besides being a bit slow on the draw it’s a bit suspect that they suspend and make a vague, less than truthful statement when the info is becoming public….

  66. 66
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Washburn: Dosvedanya, jerkoff.

  67. 67
    Bailey says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I know the comment on there was probably from a wingnut but “McCabe is worth over 10m dollars”. I don’t know how true it is, and am too busy with dinner to look it up BUT if that is the case how did a career FBI employee get to amass 10m dollars? Just curious.

    Who is saying that? All of the numbers I’ve seen about McCabe’s pension is more in the 1.5 million dollar range. Which, after 21 years at FBI, much in leadership roles, seems totally reasonable.

  68. 68
    Washburn says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Yes, contributing a few bucks to make a statement against Trump is exactly what Russia wants you to do.

    You are a goddamned strategic genius.

  69. 69
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    It’s Trump. What’s one more frivolous lawsuit at this point?

  70. 70
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Radiumgirl:

    Quietly, in an intellectually engaging way.

  71. 71

    @cosima: IIRC he used to write for Garbage Times, may be he still does.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I agree with the suggestion that at least part of it is fear that she’ll get the NDA invalidated, and that will encourage everyone else he’s ever signed an NDA with to consider if they can get theirs invalidated, too. He’s covered up so many past misdeeds behind NDAs, the risk to him if they don’t hold is incalculable.

    THIS is it…he can feel it…the DAMN breaking…
    Those NDA’s not being worth shyt.

  73. 73
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: So you appreciated it, and it zipped right over the wingnut’s head.

  74. 74

    @chris: Thanks, I will read it. Modi sucks big time but Sikh diaspora in Canada were big supporters of the Khalistan movement in the 1980s. Just like the Irish diaspora and the IRA, so the woman writing the piece is not exactly a neutral observer.

    There was some good news from India, Modi’s party lost two by-elections in Uttar Pradesh last week. One of the seats was held by the now CM* of UP, the saffron clad Yogi Adityanath.
    CM=Chief Minister (chief executive at the state level)

  75. 75
    patroclus says:

    Mark Pocan, a Dem congressman, has offered McCabe a job so that he can qualify for his pension. I think he’ll be okay without me contributing money to him. But good luck with that! My statement against Trump will come on Tuesday when I vote in the Illinois primary and again in November when we throw the Republicans out.

    Jesuit priests (as well as Talmudic scholars) tend to know their Biblical stuff. My brother-in-law did too – he was a Presbyterian pastor. But playing “Stump the Papist” sounds like fun!

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @rikyrah: I hope some very good attorneys are donating their time, pro bono, to look at Trump-related NDAs and advising the signers if they have a chance of overturning them; perhaps even how to do so. It would be a great service to the country.

    Break that dam.

  77. 77
    tobie says:

    AP is reporting that McCabe, like Comey, kept detailed notes of his interactions with the President:

    The person with knowledge of McCabe’s situation says McCabe’s memos include details of interactions with the president, among other topics.

    Expect turbulence.

  78. 78
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Mike J: Err, it’s in the Christian bible too with a body of specifically Christian scholarship around it so, not so funny after all.

    Although it would have been fun if the person sitting across the aisle or in the 3rd seat had been a Rabbi. That would really have owned the wingnut!

  79. 79
    chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Garossino’s point is that the Khalistan movement pretty much died in the early 90s but all Sikhs are still viewed through that lens. Which is useful for Modi and, of course, Conservative politicians in Canada.

  80. 80
    beef says:

    You know, if I were a data scientist at Cambridge Analytica, employed to influence the US election, I could probably do my job a lot better if I could pair the Facebook data with data more directly relevant to the election, like maybe data on people’s voting registration and voting habits. But that’s not easy information to get, since it’s private and legally protected. You’d probably have to hack into state voter databases to get it…

  81. 81
    Chyron HR says:

    “Donate money to the proud Republican who was screwed by Trump!”
    “What about the other hundreds of millions of people being harmed by his actual policies?”
    NO, JUST THIS ONE GUY.

  82. 82
    JR says:

    @cosima: Reads more like Tom Friedman, only shittier

  83. 83

    @Elizabelle: This is Stormy Daniels’s lawyer.

  84. 84
    chris says:

    @Cheryl Rofer–for your Russia file ICYMI.

    London court rules UK spy behind Trump dossier must give evidence in U.S. libel trial

    Link.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    @tobie: McCabe’s attorney is not happy with the process.

    https://twitter.com/yashar/status/975062586482937856

  86. 86
    cosima says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Good to know — can add to my ‘avoid’ list re: authors to read or not to read. Now to get that awful Woke/Great shite out of my head…

  87. 87
    RSA says:

    @Chyron HR:

    NO, JUST THIS ONE GUY.

    “He’ll donate it to charity, I promise.”

  88. 88
    JR says:

    @Washburn: sounds like you’re running a scam, here

  89. 89
    cosima says:

    @JR: Ce n’est pas possible! (UNPOSSIBLE!)

  90. 90
    Amir Khalid says:

    @tobie:
    If When Bobby Three Sticks’ people ask McCabe for those notes, if they haven’t already, he will hand them over with a smile. Excellent.

  91. 91

    @chris: Actually, I disagree that Sikhs are viewed through the lens of Khalistan, if that were the case India would not have a Sikh Prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. He was universally respected.

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    and now James Comey tweets

    Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not

  93. 93
    cosima says:

    @chris: I wonder how much they’ll be able to reasonably ask given that the questions have to be limited to those that won’t compromise sources &/or security. Seems like it wouldn’t be much.

  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is the most dishonorable and who is not

    Fixed.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @beef:

    You know, if I were a data scientist at Cambridge Analytica, employed to influence the US election, I could probably do my job a lot better if I could pair the Facebook data with data more directly relevant to the election, like maybe data on people’s voting registration and voting habits.

    Two points:

    1) Part of CA’s brag was that they could predict stuff like voting preferences based on the other data. A lot of their claims seem highly dubious to me, but that was the claim.

    2) A lot of voter information in the US is public. Most states make voter registration information public, and many of them also publish who did and didn’t vote in each election. The political parties have pushed hard to make that information public because they want that it for their campaigns. That was a big reason many states wound up providing information to the Kobach voter suppression commission: they legally couldn’t deny it to anyone who requested it. Even in places where the information isn’t public, you can bet CA was able to get whatever the Republican Party had, which would give them a strong starting point.

  96. 96
    Raoul says:

    More thankful than ever that I refuse to play those quizzes and FB games. I have whittled down to less than 5 mins per day on FB because they fail the “don’t be evil” test.
    If it wasn’t for a few far-flung friendships and cousin connections, I’d be off entirely.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattF:

    Ask yourself, ‘What does Facebook give me that I just can’t give up’?

    An easy way to connect and chat with other aspiring authors in a single interface (i.e. I don’t have to cruise to and keep track of a bunch of different websites to talk to people — I can do it all from Facebook).

  98. 98
    Mike J says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Err, it’s in the Christian bible too with a body of specifically Christian scholarship around it so, not so funny after all.

    I’m aware. I just always found it funny that they tend to ignore what the people who wrote it have to say. Whenever some wingnut wants to post the 10 commandments somewhere they always misnumber them.

  99. 99
    Mike J says:

    @JPL: What the fuck does Comey know about honor?

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    @Mike J: If he helps bring the asshole down, I won’t forget what he did, but I might forgive him.

  101. 101
    RSA says:

    @JPL:

    If he helps bring the asshole down, I won’t forget what he did, but I might forgive him.

    I think it’s good for people to admit the damage that they’ve done, so that it’s clear that they understand. (This is one of the reasons I don’t read Andrew Sullivan.)

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @patroclus:

    But playing “Stump the Papist” sounds like fun!

    It’s true that most ordinary Catholics don’t bother to read the Bible, because we’re reassured that it will be read and interpreted for us by experts in the field who have dedicated years of their life to studying it. You know … priests.

  103. 103
    JMG says:

    @Amir Khalid: Mueller’s already got the McCabe memos and notes.

  104. 104
    EBT says:

    And if you weren’t giving info to Cambridge Analytics, you were giving common secret phrase answers to The Internet, making it that much easier to get phished.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    DON’T EVER USE AN APP THAT ASKS FOR ACCESS TO ALL YOUR DATA! Or big parts of it.

    like facebook?

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    “Washburn” is ARBG under a new name. I’d bet money on it. He has to flee after the last gun massacre because people stopped talking to him.

  107. 107
    chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Agreed about Singh, but some people here in Canada are still bitching about turbans. A lot of the powers that be and the pundits came of age during the 80s.

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    @RSA:
    I’m on FB for the same reason. To keep in touch with old friends/acquaintances. I found out from there that an old friend’s daughter had died, leaving 2 kids that they have to care for. I wouldn’t have been able to attend the service if I wasn’t on FB.
    Now for the most part it is useless, other than to show me who among people I know is a RWNJ and who isn’t. I’ve had to unfriend a bunch of people over the last few years. One said he was a personal friend of GWB and that if we didn’t like it we should un…… That’s as far as I got before I hit the button.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    pluky says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Monsignor wasn’t a Jesuit was he? I would have paid last minute ticket price for a seat to that smack down.

  111. 111
    pluky says:

    @CaseyL: Oh but it does do them good. Your profile, as you point out, indicates that they shouldn’t waste time and other resources on targeting you, and those like you. The ad buys that swung the 2018 election weren’t big, but they knew exactly who to go after.

  112. 112
    sharl says:

    Regarding the upthread drooling idiocy – or determined scamming – from Washburn, here’s something from McCabe’s actual spokeswoman, via a tweet from MSNBC legal analyst and former Obama DOJ spox Matthew Miller:

    Please help circulate: while it is a kind gesture, there is no "gofundme" or other crowdfunding account for Andrew McCabe. Because of the outpouring of support, we are exploring potential options for a legal defense fund. More to come.— Melissa Schwartz (@MSchwartz3) March 17, 2018

    I personally wouldn’t make this a high priority for my donations, but for anyone with a mind to do so, follow Ms. Schwartz for any future announcement of creation of a legitimate vehicle for transferring funds.

  113. 113
    pluky says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: His wife is a kick-ass pediatric surgeon.

  114. 114
    Washburn says:

    @sharl:

    Excellent news. Glad somebody connected to McCabe has made it official.

  115. 115
    Ksmiami says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.): I actually think the Mercer’s are way worse than the Koch bros – more invasive of privacy and even less charitable

  116. 116
    sharl says:

    @Washburn: LOL, ok. You might find richer trolling territory among the folks who follow Sally Albright. Or maybe do a search in twitter for whichever politically left-oriented souls were gullible enough to contribute to the North Carolina GOP after that totally sincere firebombing of one of their local campaign offices shortly before the 2016 GE.

  117. 117
    jl says:

    I almost never take those quizzes, so people can get off my back! Wasn’t me!
    I forget the last one I took. I know what colors I like in what situations, and to what extent and what way I am a dog, cat, goldfish versus ant farm person.

    Maybe, last one was a few years ago, something about whether I was a slob or a boor. That was still an open question and I thought the quiz might help. But then I realized that ‘both’ was not part of the answer set. The thing was clearly worthless and I don’t click on them anymore out of bitterness and sloth and lack of expectation that anything will come of it (not even halfassed entertainment).

    Edit: but thanks for the post with informative links. I was wondering how they got so many people to click in and give up their info.

  118. 118
    mozzerb says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: They were originally completely separate newspapers, but the Guardian bought out the Observer about 20-30 years ago. It was a good fit as the Observer was always a Sunday paper, the Guardian didn’t have a Sunday edition, and they were both generally on the left (and IIRC the Observer was in financial trouble at the time).

  119. 119
    jonas says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: “Jesuit, eh? Well let me tell you something about Jeezus…” Yeah, this isn’t going to go well.

  120. 120
    karen marie says:

    @Washburn: What gives you any idea that McCabe would get involved with this money in any way?

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