Facebook helped Obama more than Trump
Facebook is flailing amid the fallout from revelations about the alleged misuse of user data by Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign’s 2016 data firm, dating back to 2014.
But the narrow focus on Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign misses the broader problem with Facebook and lacks fundamental context. Facebook is, to put the matter bluntly, a deeply untransparent, out-of-control company that encroaches on its users’ privacy, resists regulatory oversight and fails to police known bad actors when they abuse its platform.
And it’s not just Republicans who have taken advantage of Facebook’s invasive features. Far from it: During the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama’s reelection team built an app that extracted the same types of data in the same fashion as the Cambridge Analytica data in question, with one critical difference: Obama’s team extracted nearly five times the information.
According to Carol Davidsen, a member of Obama’s data team, “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.” The social graph is Facebook’s map of relationships between users and brands on its platform. And after the election, she recently acknowledged, Facebook was “very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
There’s been no word on whether the Obama team was asked to delete its data, nor has it been suspended from Facebook.
See also Ben Shapiro's comments
What’s genius for Obama is scandal when it comes to Trump
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