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HomeMiscellanytheBreaker.news Podcast: Do social media-savvy political parties see voters as adversaries?

theBreaker.news Podcast: Do social media-savvy political parties see voters as adversaries?

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Will Facebook survive the snowballing scandal around its sharing of users’ data with political campaign data miners?

Last week, Facebook admitted that data for at least 87 million users was shared improperly with Cambridge Analytica. Documents suggest the company involved in the Brexit and Trump campaigns had a franchise in Victoria, B.C. called AggregateIQ. Authorities in the United Kingdom and Canada are investigating.

On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, host Bob Mackin interviews Kwantlen Polytechnic University criminology professor Mike Larsen.

Larsen researches state secrecy and is the president of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. He is not surprised that political parties exploited social media channels to gain voter intelligence and spread their slogans. But he also wonders whether political parties actually see social media users as adversaries.  

“I’m sure a lot of politcal campaigns regard this as money well-spent,” Larsen said, “to be able to get, in a fairly short turnaround, reams of predictive information that allows for not just for targeted campaigning campaigning towards people who might be receptive to a message, but also towards some fairly nefarious disruption and discouragement activities.”

In the interview, Larsen also offers privacy tips for the public and solutions for regulators. 

Also on this edition, commentaries about the good, the bad and the ugly of British Columbia, and the regular scan of headlines around Cascadia and the Pacific Rim. 

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