Former Trump administrator and Breitbart boss Steve Bannon has come forward to expose how Facebook is controlling your life with algorithms meant to subtly influence its users. Bannon explains how the massive amount of data generated by online users is being bought and sold at huge profit margins by the social media giant.
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The former vice-president and board member of Cambridge Analytica said neither he nor Cambridge Analytica had anything to do with "dirty tricks" in the recent scandal over information harvested from Facebook that was used to make computer algorithms to sway the elections.
Bannon also said he did not take part in any scheme to buy data that came from Facebook and divert it to use for election propaganda. Instead, Bannon placed blame on Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL, which he says is composed of "British guys, old Etonians and guys from Oxford and Cambridge."
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He also denied there were any financial links between US hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer who co-owns Cambridge Analytica and SCL. In a recent interview, Bannon did acknowledge "Facebook data is for sale all over the world." The analytics company is accused of harvesting data from millions of Facebook profiles of U.S. voters to then be targeted for political propaganda.
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"It’s just about the cost of it. It’s bought and sold every day, it’s just a marketplace," Bannon said. "I didn’t even know about the Facebook mining, that’s Facebook’s business … They went to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 and told him all about the power of personal data."
At the "Future of News" conference in New York, Bannon also said journalists failed to adequately question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the recent data scandal. He went on to criticize a recent interview with Zuckerberg who he says "mumbled through the whole interview" and lacked any real hard-hitting questions.
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