What The US Senate Already Knows About Political Manipulation On Social Media

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In July 2018 three documents appeared on the United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website: Democracy Disrupted? Personal information and political influence; Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns; The future of political campaigning.

The three documents represent, respectively: a series of recommendations for the UK government to prevent further voter manipulation, both by political parties and by foreign actors, using social media platforms; the mid-point of its investigation into Facebook, SCL Elections, and Cambridge Analytica; an independent report commissioned to Demos, about the types of data, marketing, and big data techniques used in modern electoral strategies.

The ICO is the UK privacy regulator, the same office that night-raided the London Cambridge Analytica headquarters in high visibility blue jackets in March 2018 and that announced a fine against Facebook of 500,000 pounds (US$ 600,000) on July 11th, 2018 for breach of data protection rules in the run-up to the Brexit referendum.

The ICO's findings, although not yet conclusive, were made public precisely to assist other regulatory agencies and law-makers around the world learn from its investigative efforts.

US Senators about to question[live streamed here], on the morning of September 5th, 2018 Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about the Russian interference in the US political elections and democracy have had these findings at their disposal, like the rest of us, since July.
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