The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus

Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. Did a similar tool help propel Donald Trump to victory? Two reporters from Zurich-based Das Magazin went data-gathering.​


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One thought on “The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

  1. Pokey Post author

    Patrick McGuinness Says “”Good article and worth reading to gain understanding of what political campaigns can do these days, but this article is overselling the impact of the psychometric models. While working in the Cruz campaign with the data team, there was some eyerolling by the Cambridge Analytica people in the data team in response to an article that had some breathless reporting that made this sound like Big Brother, and also Nix is not the brains but the salesman in the operation. Cruz got an edge in Iowa from microtargeting but he really won on being perfectly positioned and nailing the right endorsements coalitions etc. that moved voters, JMHO.
    In actual operations you have to go for specific ad campaigns, as in run mail drops and 30 second ads, which you cant microtarget, so its less about who you are as an individual than what bucket of voter type, and for Cruz it was 5 types, and those are readily accessible in ways that dont require deep psychometrics (I don’t know specific info used but Axciom data was used I believe). I’ve also worked on watson and they too are able to extract personality profiles from facebook and twitter behaviors. but the value to marketers is not decisive, for the same reasons above. What does help is personal data on what you like and dislike. My bottom line is that if Nix caveated that they didn’t use the OCEAN model, they probably didnt. They probably used other correlations (like the ‘buy American car’ one) to get basic voter types, and ran with that. The article is informative but overstating for dramatic effect.””

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