UK academic says data firm helped Trump campaign spread fear

0
3715

Researcher tells British parliament committee that presidential hopeful used info from Cambridge Analytica to effectively deploy ‘false racist and Islamophobic comments’

LONDON (AP) — A propaganda expert who has studied Cambridge Analytica says the company helped Donald Trump’s presidential campaign use false statements and anti-Muslim messages to spread fear and resentment in swing states he needed to win.

University of Essex lecturer Emma Briant made the comments in explanatory essays submitted to the media committee of the UK Parliament as part of its inquiry into fake news. She has studied SCL Group, the conglomerate that includes Cambridge Analytica, for a decade.

Briant, who interviewed the group’s employees for her academic research, submitted recordings of those discussions as well as the essays to the UK Electoral Commission, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the committee. Her intent was to discuss “Cambridge Analytica’s grossly unethical conduct enacted for profit,” according to evidence released on Monday.

“Using (Cambridge Analytica’s) media strategy, Trump’s false racist and Islamophobic comments, resentment and fear were deployed where they would be most effective — mobilizing swing state audiences, using voters’ personal data to monitor them, and using psychological profiling to manipulate their emotional responses en masse,” Briant wrote.

Click here to read full story »