(National Review) -- Something really bothers me about the corporate apology choreography from Facebook’s headquarters.
I already noted the double-standard for panic in my column this week. In the world of data-mining and targeted advertising, Cambridge Analytica is nothing more than a Republican aligned start-up, that was still learning the tricks of the trade during the 2016 campaign. Their data set and their skill set for manipulating it were not very impressive compared with the Obama campaign in 2012. But when the Obama campaign used Big Data to figure out how to juice their turnout, their digital team were hailed as geniuses and they turned their data mining into a lucrative post-campaign life.
Carol Davidson, a campaign director for Obama for America admitted that the campaign was able “to suck out the whole social graph.” That phrase, “social graph,” may strike others as obscure, but in the parlance of Facebook, it means the map of social relationships. Often Zuckerberg refers to it as the map that Facebook’s data ultimately creates, a topography of all human relationships on earth. I’m not sure if Davidson means all of Facebook’s data, or all the personal data of all the scores of million of people who were friends with the 1 million people who allowed the Obama campaign to crawl their pages. Facebook was completely aware of their data-mining, and even signaled to them that it was fine to do this, at least until the end of the election, because Facebook’s engineers and executives were on Obama’s side.
Advertisement - story continues below