Flashback: Obama Targeted Voters Through Facebook Friend Networks

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski
AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

A clip has emerged of former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina discussing how the former president’s campaign used Facebook friend networks to win.

In the clip, Messina explains how the campaign utilized Facebook and “spent a billion dollars to figure out a simple truth: that what your friends and family and neighbors say is more important to your consumer decisions and political decisions than anything else.”

Messina, in the clip, explains how the Obama campaign was able to target undecided voters through their friend networks on Facebook, claiming that 78 percent of the voters they reached ended up voting for the former President.

In his recent statement on Facebook’s ongoing data scandal, Mark Zuckerberg specifically highlighted the ability of third-party apps to access data on users’ friends as a problem. While a user who installed an app might have consented to having their data used, their friends did not.

Yet according to Carol Davidsen, former director of media analytics for Obama’s 2012 campaign, Facebook allowed them to mine data on users’ friend networks, even though they were surprised at how easy it was for the campaign to “suck out the entire social graph” of Facebook.

According to Davidsen, Facebook “was very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”

Zuckerberg and Facebook have yet to publicly address Davidsen’s comments, and have not responded to Breitbart News’ inquiries on the matter.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to allumbokhari@protonmail.com.


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