[lbo-talk] Social media as an exercise in social control

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 5 15:50:33 PST 2018

Rather than Russian meddling, a new documentary credits a sophisticated software program underwritten by right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer with providing the key demographic data which secured Trump’s election.

Utilizing psychological research and the reams of individual profile data available on the internet, Cambridge Analytics’ Psyops program allowed Trump strategists to concentrate their advertising on prospective voters in swing states who scored high on Neuroticism, among other personality traits.

But as the radical film critic Louis Proyect notes in his review of the documentary, “the real question is not whether the ads made the difference. It is instead what kind of society we are living in”, where social media, favoured by social movements to spread protest, can also be used as much or more to control populations along the lines of the dystopia envisioned by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World.


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