Monday, May 22, 2017

How He Used Facebook to Win

An interesting observation.

“Not long after Donald Trump’s surprising presidential victory, an article published in the Swiss weekly Das Magazin, and reprinted online in English by Vice, began churning through the Internet. While pundits were dissecting the collapse of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the journalists for Das Magazin, Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus, pointed to an entirely different explanation—the work of Cambridge Analytica, a data science firm created by a British company with deep ties to the British and American defense industries.”

Robert Reich writes, As Sue Halpern notes, Donald Trump is our first Facebook president. His team figured out how to use all the marketing tools of Facebook, as well as Google, the two biggest advertising platforms in the world, to successfully sell a candidate that the majority of Americans did not want.

They understood that some numbers matter more than others—in this case the number of angry, largely rural, disenfranchised potential Trump voters—and that Facebook, especially, offered effective methods for pursuing and capturing them.

This also appears to be Trump’s approach to governing. Trump’s huge database continues to serve him well. In the first 3 months of his presidency, when only 36 percent of the country gave him a favorable rating, Trump and the Republicans raised $30 million toward his reelection.

This is twice as much as Obama raised in the first three months of his first term, while enjoying much higher approval ratings. What our Facebook president has discovered is that it actually pays only to please some of the people some of the time. The rest simply don’t count.

drawing by James Ferguson
How He Used Facebook to Win

By Sue Halpern