What’s the difference between Cambridge Analytica and Organizing For America?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #1
    The media is losing their collective minds over Cambridge Analytica but how is it any different than Obama’s Organizing for America? Seems to me the only difference is the media doesn’t care when the data mining is in service of electing Liberals/Democrats.

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    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/organizing-for-america-ramps-up-for/
    https://www.redstate.com/diary/anit...look-at-obamas-organizing-for-america-part-i/
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/18/barack-obama-organizing-america-action
     
  2. Kestrel452 macrumors regular

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    #2
    That is the only significant difference it would seem.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/technolo...s-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump
     
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

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  4. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #4
    The difference is there isn’t a beloved snake oil salesman in the office, rather a hated one.

    The ONE good thing about this presidency is that he’s too inept to keep the mask of Oligarchic control over the country (and most of the world really) on. Trump is merely the end result of decades of political hackery from both parties that have played their role in enriching the 0.1% while the rest of us have tangibly worse lives than our previous generations have had. And no, cheap electronic drugs (phones, TV, mind numbing social networks) does not mean we are living better than those before, it just means we escape into them rather than confront the reality of the rise of the new Economic Royalists.

    Many here believe that everything is fine, after the next economic collapse maybe they’ll open their eyes.
     
  5. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    No difference, you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
     
  6. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #6
    The most notable difference is Obama didn't hack into social networks to obtain personal information and what users thought was private data. The media is rightfully NOT outraged by this because it was completely on the up and up.
     
  7. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

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    #7
    Can you point me to the time that anyone in charge at OFA said that they would send prostitutes to discredit political opponents?
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #8
    I’d have faith in the conservative arguments if they weren’t so nakedly tribalist. If you guys were interested in the big picture of how we’re all being manipulated in a system that clearly makes life worse for all of us rather than the pathetic “but you had no problem with Dems doing it” trope we’d get somewhere.

    Instead we fight over our chosen team in a game that is rigged at every level against the welfare of all of us.
     
  9. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #9
    There's a lot of validity to this. And not to derail this thread - but the investigation into Russia meddling/influencing an election is an example. That's not a partisan issue. It's a national security issue where both sides should be doing whatever they can to ensure it doesn't/can't happen again. It's important to look back, but you cannot change the past, you have to work actively on today's issues as well as being proactive for tomorrow's.
     
  10. Kestrel452 macrumors regular

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    #10
  11. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #11
    Words matter. There was no “hacking” here regardless of how intellectually lazy the headlines are. Using tools for “unintended” (while in reality this type of operation is why these social networks exist) reasons is not hacking. No blocks were circumvented, the data was passed in the same method every advertising tool uses from Facebook.

    This kind of data operation heralds all the way back to the roots of the internet, Arpanet. This is the reason why students were protesting Arpanet from day one. But decades later we’ve been spun the tale that the internet was founded to free society...by hippy tech guys who were employed by the defense department...
     
  12. samcraig macrumors P6

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    I think deceptive is more appropriate. From what I've read - data was passed through an app call this is your digital life. So something users wouldn't organically believe their data would be used politically. Obama's campaign collected data with their own app - a very clear signal of opting in or tied to political data collection.

    I think it matters if true. One is scammy and the other is more legit.
     
  13. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    #13
  14. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #14
    Yes, but that behavior is the norm for data mining operation. Literally nothing is new here, not even the information being used at the behest of oligarchs.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2018 ---
    Technologically illiterate people don’t get to decide what the definitions of words are.

    They have a right to be outraged, but not to redefine terms to the point where they’re meaningless. “I don’t like what they did with the data” is not hacking. Declaring it so opens a wide window of abuse of the term...as we’ve already seen.
     
  15. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #15
    That ignores the point.

    One was practically if not overtly an opt-in situation for data to be used by the campaign. The other was completely unrelated and was used. There is a difference.
     
  16. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    There are several very important differences between what OFA (and the Clinton campaign) did, and what Cambridge Analytica purported pulled off.

    To begin with, Organizing for America was very upfront with Facebook and its users about what data they were looking for, and how it would be used. There is nothing inherently wrong with a political campaign - or a softdrink manufacturer - buying a list of users who meet certain demographic and/or social characteristics and then targeting them. and subsequently people who received communications from OFA (or Pepsi) knew who was sending them a message.

    What is wrong is misrepresenting a) who is doing the data harvesting and b) putting out messages that are both false, and under a false name.

    It's OK for Pepsi to ask Facebook for a list of user data, and to then send selected individuals ads for Pepsi products.

    It's NOT OK for someone pretending to work for a public health NGO to ask for a list of Facebook users with young children, and then send them false news stories about people finding dead rats in bottles of Coke.

    Which is the functional equivalent of what Cambridge Analytica and the Trump Campaign did.
     
  17. Kestrel452, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2018

    Kestrel452 macrumors regular

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    #17
    There's quite a difference between someone's personal computers and Facebook being hacked, and data that's been publicly shared being sucked up by big data.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate big data just as much as the next guy, but Cambridge using data you publicly share is not "hacking" in any sense of the word. Facts don't care about your feelings.
     
  18. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #18
    If anyone thinks data on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. is private they’re idiots.
     
  19. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #19
    That's a holistic comment that really doesn't address the issue here that you raised
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #20
    My point was that we’re nitpicking over a single instance when this is not new, and how billions of dollars in industry operates every single day.

    We can ignore this is the reality and focus on Trump, or we can acknowledge this is a much larger problem than one election, company, country, and Facebook.

    That was MY point.
     
  21. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #21
    The point is data mining has been used since forever. The only reason the media is in a collective freak out over Facebook now is they still can’t get over the fact that Trump won the election. They refuse to blame Hillary so they go after Facebook instead.
     
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #22
    I care less about Trump and more about Cambridge in this scenario. The question was asked what the difference is between what they did and what Obama's campaign did. And I've explained the difference.

    You are ignoring/adjusting the premise of your question as it has been answered what the difference is.

    You set up the scenario as what both parties did and should they be considered the same. The answer is no. There is a difference.
     
  23. Huntn macrumors P6

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    #23
    My understanding is there is a significant difference. Obama efforts involved polling and collecting information voluntarily given, not taken without permission.
     
  24. iLunar macrumors 6502

    iLunar

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    #24
    No, that's blatantly false. And there have been a few posts up thread that clearly outline the difference. You are choosing to see a false equivalency here and are failing to see the legitimate deception and perhaps illegal nature of what Cambridge Analyitica has done.

    You are also ignoring the bribes & blackmail.
     
  25. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    In a few of the articles I read Cambridge was collecting PII and there are laws about collecting PII, how it can be stored, what it can be used for, and what entities it can be transferred to.

    I will freely admit I'm not following this all that closely because of the hype around it I figured I'd give it a couple more days then go back and read more.
     

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