Our Chief Strategy Officer Jon is the lead forensic expert in this excellent documentary about the death threats levelled against MPs during the Brexit debate, how those death threats have been incited and triggered by various activist networks, and the impact on democracy. Be warned - it is a depressing watch with foul language from the start. But for us, a proud moment to see Jon talking about a tiny fragment from the monumental tapestry of hatred and fake news that he and his team have been piecing together for the better part of a year.
An increasingly prominent aspect of life online is a practise that has been christened by Harvard business theorist Shoshana Zuboff as ‘surveillance capitalism’. This involves the extraction of behavioural data about individuals with the intention of targeting those individuals in ways that can be manipulative.
As we’ve seen with incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, this has also spilled over directly in to politics – though it might be said that all such interactions ought to be considered seriously as novel political phenomena.
From the US Guardian’s live coverage of the mid-terms; “This is a fear election. Fear around immigration and security versus fear about health care coverage, according to analysis by Signify, an ethical data science company. And of the two, health care seems to be the winning issue despite Donald Trump’s dire warnings of a caravan heading towards the US-Mexico border.”
Trump’s divisive rhetoric and a comparatively disciplined issues-driven campaign from the Democrats have presented voters with a stark choice in tomorrow’s mid-terms: turn out to vote because you fear a tidal wave of immigration and criminality, or go to the polls because you fear losing your access to affordable health care. Analysis conducted by Signify indicates that healthcare is more important to voters than any other issue and may swing results all over the country.