Former President Barack Obama’s campaign director has finally admitted what all conservatives knew to be true: Facebook helped Obama win the election.
According to Carol Davidsen, who is the former director of media analytics for Obama for America, the Obama campaign officials used Facebook’s data to fix their email lists in an effort to reach tons of hidden voters.
Davidsen took to Twitter to admit that the social media platform allowed the Obama campaign officials to take data that they would never allow any other candidate’s campaign to do simply because Facebook wanted the democratic candidate to win.
What’s more, the former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America continued to explain in the Twitter thread that Obama’s 2012 campaign instructed the social media platform to “suck out the whole social graph” in an effort to target their potential demographic.
However, Davidsen claims that once Facebook became aware that they were helping Obama, they seemed to be “surprised.” But they did not do anything to stop it or make any changes to prevent it from happening again, according to the former Obama campaign official.
Furthermore, Davidsen said that Facebook visited their offices after the election and told them straight-up that they allowed them to access to the data because they supported Obama.
“They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side,” Davidsen explained on Twitter.
The former Obama campaign official also linked an article describing the campaign’s Facebook targeting strategy, aka “Project Taargus.”
According to the article, over one million Obama supporters who signed up for a Facebook app back in 2012, gave the campaign permission to look at who these people were friends with.
And just like that, the Obama campaign was given access to reach millions of young voters who might have otherwise been hidden from them and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign.
The Obama campaign’s digital director, Teddy Goff, said it best when he stated that Americans “don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations.“ “Who do they trust? Their friends,” he added.
This strategy has since been dubbed “targeted sharing,” and is likely why Obama won the 2012 election.
Many of these hidden voters had no phone number and lived in cellular shadow that most campaigns could not break into. However, after approx. 600,000 supporters started asking their Facebook friends to vote, all bets were off and the Obama campaign had all the information they needed to reach young voters.
Many feel that Facebook was biased against Trump and favored Hillary Clinton in 2016 just as they clearly favored Obama in 2012. Therefore, many are wondering: is Facebook helping or hurting the Trump administration?
While Facebook claims to remain unbiased, it seems that they are very aware that campaign officials are using their data to help sway elections. But do they only do something about it if they do not support the candidate? That doesn’t seem very fair nor objective.
At the beginning of 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his New Year’s resolution was to fix Facebook before it implodes. His announcement came on the heels of stark criticism that he allowed the Russians to create fake accounts and push divisive news on the platform.
Since then, Facebook has been targeting publishers and promoting “meaningful interactions” with a new algorithm instead of buzz-worthy political topics.
However, one could make the argument that this is a recipe for disaster, as voters need to be involved in politics now more than ever due to the fact that people no longer trust the mainstream media in this digital age that is plagued with “fake news.”
Clearly, the media has chosen a side and the American people can either be more critical of where they get their news or they just blindly believe the false facts the mainstream outlets are telling them.
Alas, when the mainstream media seems to want to end Trump’s presidency instead of educating the public with facts, the people need to think long and hard about where they get their news.
It’s just like Goff said, we have come to the point where people will turn to their friends rather than believe some lying talking head on television.
Perhaps the main issue, though, is that Facebook has over a billion users and if the company wants to align their objectives with a certain political party then they need to be upfront about that or actually enforce their so-called objectivity and treat all candidates equally.
After all, the fact that Facebook admittedly turned their head to the Obama administration mining data to help win the election, but started making changes after Trump was elected says it all.
Who can the People trust anymore?