OP-ED COLUMNISTS: BLOOMBERG By LEONID BERSHIDSKY – Cambridge Analytica’s business simply isn’t data

Alexander Nix, chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, explains how the company obtains and uses data. (File photo)




As the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolds, the Western world is meeting a little-known part of its political industry, the one that has operated in developing nations since at least the 1990s. CA’s methods as revealed by Britain’s Channel 4 News, whose reporter posed as a potential Sri Lankan client, may be a bit extreme — but for the most part, the consultancy has been one of many firms that have brought Western-style electioneering to lawless environments in which it has been blatantly abused.

In the US, political marketing developed from an art into a science by the 1980s. By the end of the following decade, the US had an industry of about 7,000 people who worked on campaigns, political scientist Christian Schafferer wrote in 2006. The US market became too competitive for all these professionals.

This, however, was the era of Pax Americana, when most countries’ establishments sought American knowledge and at least the external veneer of Western democracy. The Global Political Consultancy Survey of 1998-2000 revealed that 57% of the top US political consultants also worked overseas – – in post-Communist countries, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East. Sometimes, from Honduras to Israel, opposing politicians were being advised by different US consultants.



… read more  -https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1433487/cambridge-analyticas-business-simply-isnt-data#cxrecs_s  / 23 Mar 2018 at 04:05 NEWSPAPER SECTION
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