‘Cambridge Analytica ran voter suppression campaigns’
Washington, May 17: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has said that the company engaged in efforts to discourage or suppress voting from targeted sections of the American population, a media report said on Thursday.
Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee who blew the whistle on its alleged misuse of Facebook users’ data, did not provide specific evidence of voter suppression campaigns taking place in the US, CNN reported. Referring to US President Donald Trump’s former top political adviser Steve Bannon, Wylie told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, “Bannon sees cultural warfare as the means to create enduring change in American politics.” “It was for this reason Bannon engaged SCL (Cambridge Analytica’s parent company), a foreign military contractor, to build an arsenal of informational weapons he could deploy on the American population,” he added. When asked by Senator Chris Coons, D-Delaware, if one of Bannon’s “goals was to suppress voting or discourage certain individuals in the US from voting”, Wylie replied, “That was my understanding, yes.”
After the hearing, Wylie said that although he did not take part in voter suppression activities, he alleged that African-Americans were particular targets of Cambridge Analytica’s “voter disengagement tactics”. He added that the tactics were used to “discourage or demobilise certain types of people from voting”, and that campaigns and political action committees requested voter suppression from Cambridge Analytica. Wylie also outlined during his testimony how he believed it may have been possible for the Facebook data of American voters to have been obtained by entities in Russia. (IANS)