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Campaigns sidestep Cambridge Analytica crackdown with new methods

 — 11 octobre 2020
Fraudulent text messages are drawing attention as political campaigns ramp up data collection and voter targeting using their own technology to circumvent restrictions imposed by social media platforms following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook barred apps which scraped data on users and their contacts after revelations about the now-defunct British consulting group. But in response, President Donald Trump’s campaign and some activist groups are using their own methods.

« What we are seeing is almost more potent than in 2016, » said Samuel Woolley, a University of Texas professor who leads propaganda research at the school’s Center for Media Engagement

Woolley’s team, which examined messages such as the above-referenced ones, found that the Trump , and to a lesser extent those of Democrat Joe Biden and other political activist groups, scoop up data to create profiles to craft personalized, targeted messages by SMS, email or .

Some apps collect data not only on the user, but his or her contacts, and track location and other activities such as shopping or church attendance.

Campaigns can combine that with third-party information from data brokers or to finetune messages to specific individuals or groups.


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