Democracy, Data and Dirty Tricks - FOUR CORNERS 16/04/18
Democracy, data and dirty tricks: Cambridge Analytica uncovered.
“I was instrumental. I was at the heart of it.” Chris Wylie, former Cambridge Analytica director of research.
On Monday night Four Corners brings you the undercover investigation that has left social media giant Facebook reeling through the unmasking of the secretive political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and the dirty tricks they deployed.
“We set our emails with a self destruct timer…There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing. Don’t make a note of that!” Secret recording
Four months in the making, this ITN investigation for Channel 4 in Britain used hidden cameras to reveal the tactics used by the UK firm Cambridge Anayltica to influence elections and undermine the democratic process in several countries.
“We were able to identify that there were very large quantities of persuadable voters there that could be influenced to work for the Trump campaign.” Secret recording
Key players in the company, captured on film, repeatedly met with an undercover reporter posing as a potential client. The company promised absolute confidentiality and an assurance of success by combining the dark arts of political strategy with big data.
“We just put information into the bloodstream, to the Internet, and then watch it grow.” Secret recording
Stepping out of the shadows, in an eye-opening interview, is the former research director of the company.
“It weighs on me that I played a pivotal role in setting a company that has done a lot of harm to the democratic process in a lot of countries.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica
He reveals the new battleground for hearts and minds - social media, where the weapon of choice is data and voters are the target.
“We can get better than human level accuracy at predicting your behaviour… And I can exploit that.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica
His revelations of data harvesting from Facebook accounts have set in motion a series of inquiries around the world and a humbling admission of failure from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“Facebook, at least in a technical sense, facilitated the project because they had applications that had these permissions in the first place.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica
This must watch investigation exposes how politics and opinion can be manipulated in the information age.
Democracy, data and dirty tricks: Cambridge Analytica uncovered, an ITN production for Channel 4 and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 16th April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 17th April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 18th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.