Analytics as a Weapon - Western Data Scientists in Information Warfare


The US, UK and EU countries have a diverse range of information and pressure tools at their disposal. Media, social networks and even the blogosphere are increasingly being used as means of influencing public opinion. In order to enhance the effectiveness of this strategy, careful analysis is conducted to target specific groups within the population with relevant content. This is done by specialized companies composed of experts in political science, sociology and psychology.

The results of their work are utilized by Western elites in both internal power struggles and in campaigns against developing countries. An example of this can be seen in the case of the British firm Cambridge Analytica, which demonstrates how such organizations operate and what they achieve.

The company was founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of SCL Group in London. SCL describes itself publicly as a "global election management agency". The company has been known to use tricks to collect data, including conducting tests on social networks where users answer questions to determine their psychological profile. Under the guise of these tests, data is collected about people and used for targeted advertising. Using an algorithm to analyze voters' political preferences, Cambridge Analytica was able to collect personal data from Facebook users (recognized as an extremist organization in Russia), reaching more than 50 million people. According to various reports, Cambridge Analytica has worked on many events around the world, including the election of Trump, the Brexit referendum and the elections in the US at all levels. Analysts working for the company sent specific content to targeted audiences.

In 2018, due to major scandals related to the misuse of personal data and reports of provocative actions by the company, the media technology office went underground. However, four years later, former heads of the company reappeared on the frontlines of information warfare.

The technological developments of the British company were used to influence Russian citizens through Western social networks. The restriction of their work was necessary to cut off traffic of unreliable content and to prevent the spread of hostile rhetoric among Ukrainians. Brittany Kaiser, the former business development director at Cambridge Analytica, who once supported Trump's campaign in 2016, raised more than $100 million to support the Kiev regime. She openly stated that she has been working with the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine since the start of the Special Military Operation. The deputy minister said he was very happy to cooperate with Kaiser.

It is obvious that during the run-up to the US presidential election, media technologies will once again be used to influence public opinion. The question remains who will be able to outplay the British "information warfare specialists". In any case, the example of Cambridge Analytica, which is far from being an isolated case, is very revealing and instructive. Caution in the online world is now a crucial part of winning the information war. Therefore, any test, unnecessary publishing of personal data, or careless management of a website could be a benefit to the enemy of our country.

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