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Obama Campaign Also Scraped Users’ Data From Facebook

You are seeing a lot of headlines about how Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign, used Facebook to compile personal information from voters’ profiles and used it to target them politically.

Oh my goodness! Those fascist Trump people, attacking your freedoms by accessing data YOU WILLINGLY GAVE TO FACEBOOK. You know, so you could make everyone watch your kid butcher the piano.

Well, guess what, the Obama people did the exact same thing, only I don’t remember any uproar about an invasion of everyone’s privacy. They were probably hailed in the press as geniuses.

From the Washington Post:

In 2011, Carol Davidsen, director of data integration and media analytics for Obama for America, built a database of every American voter using the same Facebook developer tool used by Cambridge, known as the social graph API. Anytime people used Facebook’s log-in button to sign on to the campaign’s website, the Obama data scientists were able to access their profile as well as their friends’ information. That allowed them to chart the closeness of people’s relationships and make estimates about which people would be most likely to influence other people in their network to vote.

“We ingested the entire U.S. social graph,” Davidsen said in an interview. “We would ask permission to basically scrape your profile, and also scrape your friends, basically anything that was available to scrape. We scraped it all.”

I have some serious trouble with people bitching and moaning about their privacy being violated. I mean, did Facebook come to your house, knock down your door, and confiscate your iPads? What made you think you could trust Mark Zuckerberg with your information?

If you don’t want other people to have private information about yourself, don’t put it on social media. Or at least limit what you put up there. Most people seem to reveal their actual birthdate. One can probably figure out who your parents are and get you mother’s maiden name. Why not just add on the last four digits of your social security number and tell everyone the name of your first pet and your favorite teacher? Oh, those last two items are probably up there too.

Facebook, Twitter, etc., are private companies, not utilities. Maybe try using the phone once in awhile to tell people about your stuff.

7 Responses to Obama Campaign Also Scraped Users’ Data From Facebook

  1. I don’t Facebook,….never have, never will.
    Twitter info is more easily contained although even they are always asking for more ‘stuff’ on you.

    • I never got Twitter… 140 characters? I’ve written sentences that have 300 words. :-D Short form isn’t for me! LOL!

      For the same reason, even though I joined GAB early and spent time inputting content there in the first year to help them get critical mass, I finally gave up… My preference is blogs or old fashioned forums.

    • Same here, AFVet. I was never tempted to use FB. It was always completely obvious to me that FB was a tool to collect users’ personal data and that an unscrupulous FB CEO could create big trouble by selling that data. I was right.

  2. Not only that, but in 2008, one of Facebook’s founders took a leave of absence and went to work for the Obama campaign, developed a website that “looked like Facebook” and probably imported all Facebook data into it without asking/telling anyone… remember in 2008 Facebook didn’t have much “privacy” protection – and the company didn’t abide by the rules it did have. People couldn’t even delete their account.

  3. So, there it is – we can’t have nice things…..
    What was a innocent way to connect with family and friends has been turned into a weapon of personal invasion.
    No one should be surprised by this revelation – everything we do in public is monitored by someone. We’re on CCTV, our credit card purchases are monitored, our internet is constantly scanned by advertisers, and even our grocery purchases are mined for preferences.
    Criminals use ‘burner’ cell phones, use fake names, don’t have driver’s licenses, and try to live off-the-grid.
    All we can do is hope for the best, that our lives are being monitored for the best of reasons and carry on unafraid.

  4. Actually, I’ve been kind of surprised that there has been no real attempts at connecting this firm directly to Trump. Maybe I’ve missed it, but so far it’s just that they stole stuff from FB…Which is a crock on it’s face…FB likely knew what was going on…