This is the latest in a series of overly gullible stories that have appeared touting Cambridge Analytica’s supposed abilities. Scout’s founders should be embarrassed for publishing this.
Surely they are familiar with the term “vaporware”?
Read Dave Karpf’s latest piece debunking these claims: http://civichall.org/civicist/will-the-real-psychometric-targeters-please-stand-up/
There’s a lot of bad stuff going on, and certainly Cambridge Analytica’s investors and projects (Brexit, Cruz, Trump) are all nefarious. But there is no evidence that they have invented let alone perfected a powerful new tool for individual persuasion. None.
Gullible editors who know nothing about political tech plus ambitious writers recycling heavy-breathing BS from some German publication does not equal proof.
Unfortunately, political reporters do a terrible job covering tech, and tech reporters do a terrible job of covering politics. Between those cracks, you get this kind of “reporting.”
As best as we can tell, what CA did for Trump was garden variety targeting. Yes, they had a strategy to suppress turnout among core Democratic constituencies by reminding them of Hillary’s blunders, including the “superpredators” line. Karl Rove would have done that too. This is not some new superpower.
Let’s not lose our ability to ask skeptical questions in the process of everything else going on these days.