Facebook status: in deep trouble. As if the social network hasn’t been on the wrong side of the news enough lately, it’s now being dragged into a massive scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm with close ties to both Steve Bannon and conservative billionaire Robert Mercer.
“Cambridge Analytica specializes in what’s called ‘psychographic’ profiling,” explains Vox’s Sean Illing, “meaning they use data collected online to create personality profiles for voters.” Politicians and agencies — like, for example, the Trump campaign — hire them to do consulting work such as market research, ad targeting, and PR.
Most recently, though, Cambridge Analytica has made headlines for its extremely questionable acquisition of data from tens of millions of Facebook users that could hypothetically be used to inform their digital marketing strategies.
Sean Rameswaram talks to Kurt Wagner, senior editor covering social media for Recode, and Julia Angwin, senior reporter at ProPublica, about why the Cambridge Analytica news matters, whom it affects, and how you can fight back to protect your privacy.
- Cambridge Analytica and its many scandals, explained (Andrew Prokop)
- The case against Facebook (Matt Yglesias)
- Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data abuse shouldn’t get credit for Trump (Angela Chen and Alessandra Potenza, The Verge)
- Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook “made mistakes” on the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He’s not apologizing. (Emily Stewart)
How do I get even more Today, Explained?
You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram, Kurt Wagner at @KurtWagner8, and Julia Angwin at @JuliaAngwin.
How do I report a problem?
For all issues or feedback, please email email@example.com.
How do I listen?
What if I want to listen at home?
If you have Amazon Echo, add Today, Explained to your flash briefing. If you have Google Home, just say, “Hey Google, play the Today, Explained podcast!”