Big Data, Brexit and Trump

One of the most defining milestones ever achieved by big data analytics platforms is 2016 USA presidential election and Brexit. In both cases, the winning sides adopted a tool developed by the University of Cambridge to psychometrically profile people by mining data through the social media. Cambridge Analytica, used by the Brexit leave campaign and Trump’s election campaign-, is a legend phrase in the tech industry.

Cambridge Analytica is said to use behavioral microtargeting, through combining people’s personalities  with demographics to predict and influence mass behavior. Big data analytics tools are already know to profile and target people by demographics e.g. age, income and gender, but a platform that can perfect psychological targeting offers a more potent tool: Ability to manipulate behavior based on how a person thinks or react to a particular event.

Cambridge Analytica, is known to administer online questionnaires promoting them using social media ads that promises to tell you about your personal traits. It then uses these tests mine data from thousands of participants.

The data is then used to develop ads geared towards the agreeable personality of an individual. For example, political ads warning about the danger posed by climate change can be targeted to voters deemed as anxious rather than targeting those identified as skeptics.

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