Most are well aware that Donald Trump, the current sitting president of the United States has been accused of colluding with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential race. I remember reading a series of tweets from a BuzzFeed editor in 2017 of a meeting taking place at the Trump Tower between Trump’s presidential election team and Russian government officials. These tweets came out around the time Paul Manafort was arrested and supposedly supporting the FBI with its investigations.
This only added to the mountain of evidence showing that the Russians did interfere in the 2016 presidential race and lent support to Trump. I thought those tweets from the BuzzFeed editor was interesting but did not think much of it at the time as there were no other sources to support what the editor was claiming. Until now, Donald Trump finally admits that meeting did take place.
Above is one example from The New York Times article on the collection of ads that was ran by Cambridge Analytica.
The strategy widely reported to have been used by Cambridge Analytica was to use Facebook as a platform to socially influence the decision making of the American citizen. Russia perhaps was more successful at reaching more Americans on Facebook by using their partners at the Internet Research Agency who reached 126 million Americans by creating content of any nature and spent $100,000 USD on Facebook ads that enabled the firms 3,000 ads to be seen by as much at 11.4million Americans and then extended its reach far higher with organic engagement on that content.
We are still a long way from learning the full story of how Facebook and other social networks were exploited to support Trump during his successful 2016 presidential campaign but as we learn more from the media about what supposedly did happen, it shows that Facebook is a powerful tool for any advertisers objectives.
Originally published to my Linked here on August 10, 2018.