By Asish Samson
The recent Facebook scandal in which Cambridge Analytic used private information from Facebook and used it during Trump’s campaign caused quite a stir in the mainstream media with channels like CNN covering it almost non-stop. What these news channels are selectively omitting is the fact that Obama Campaign used the very same techniques to gather and disperse private information from Facebook to attract more voters during the 2012 Presidential Campaign. What’s even more shocking is that Facebook actually knew about this and even allowed it. Even more disturbing is the revelation that Facebook actually admitted to the Obama Campaign that they were “ On their side” and wouldn’t have allowed anyone else to do it.
Carol Davidsen, Obama’s former Director of Integration and Media Analytics revealed this through several tweets. She revealed that “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.” She also revealed that Facebook employees even visited them in their office. “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.”
She admitted that she felt “creepy” about the whole project. “I worked on all of the data integration projects at OFA. This was the only one that felt creepy, even though we played by the rules, and didn’t do anything I felt was ugly, with the data.” She even tweeted a video on Youtube in which she is shown being dragged off stage when she begins to talk about Facebook.
Even the Time Magazine wrote a piece about how the Obama Campaign used Facebook information during the final stages of the campaign. Carol Davidsen built a database of every American voter using a tool called the social graph API. This means that every time a Facebook user logged into Obama’s website, the Obama data scientists could get all the access to their profile as well as the their friend’s information along with the closeness of the relationships. Basically the Obama campaigned sucked up all the private information of the user and their friends without their consent. Yet, Facebook allowed all this.
These kind of privacy violations and manipulations are nothing new for the Obama Administration. They have previously used media and social media to deliberately spread false information through echo chambers. While the mainstream media were losing their minds over Trump Campaign, Obama misused his power to spy on Trump. Yet, none of the mainstream media ever covered that as it should have been covered. Obama has gotten a free pass from the press and the Justice system even after many violations.