Mindf*ck: Inside Cambridge Analytica's Plot to Break the World (Hardback)Christopher Wylie (author)
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The true story behind the Cambridge Analytica scandal is a dark and disturbing account of alt-right power games and psychological warfare. Revealing all about the depths that the company were prepared to sink to to influence floating voters, whistle-blower Wylie explodes a combustible mix of political corruption and corrosive ideology.
What if you could peer into the minds of an entire population? What if you could target the weakest with rumours that only they saw?
In 2016, an obscure British military contractor turned the world upside down. Funded by a billionaire on a crusade to start his own far-right insurgency, Cambridge Analytica combined psychological research with private Facebook data to make an invisible weapon with the power to change what voters perceived as real.
The firm was created to launch the then unknown Steve Bannon's ideological assault on America. But as it honed its dark arts in elections from Trinidad to Nigeria, 24-year-old research director Christopher Wylie began to see what he and his colleagues were unleashing. He had heard the disturbing visions of the investors. He saw what CEO Alexander Nix did behind closed doors.
When Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the EU, Wylie realised it was time to expose his old associates. The political crime of the century had just taken place - the weapon had been tested - and nobody knew.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 576 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 28 mm
An invaluable primer on psychological warfare and behaviour modification ... Given that Wylie was at the heart of this work, and that he displayed real sociological understanding of what the data was revealing, his account provides a useful, crystal-clear exposition of the power of psychographic profiling when it's done right. And it suggests that electoral campaigning has now moved on to a different level. -- John Naughton * The Observer *
If you want to understand the darker side of the digital revolution - and what a threat to democracy it is - you must read this book. As we watch our own democracy wavering in a blizzard of online dirty tricks I can think of nothing more relevant right now. In this astonishing insider story Wylie explains how the 'Trump revolution' and the 'Brexit Shock' were achieved by often-illegal manipulation - and proposes a series of safeguards of the digital commons for the future. I hope every citizen reads this. -- Brian Eno
Fascinating and hugely readable ... valuable and revelatory * Sunday Times *
Freewheeling and profane ... Wylie covers plenty of ground, explaining in illuminating and often scary detail how Cambridge Analytica exploited the data to create Facebook pages that would needle "neurotic, conspiratorial citizens," propagating an outraged solidarity. -- Jennifer Szalai * New York Times *
MindF*ck demonstrates how digital influence operations, when they converged with the nasty business of politics, managed to hollow out democracies... And his personal story, woven into the book's narrative, illustrates the confusion of our current political era as well as the challenge to Wylie's fellow members of the social media generation as they seek identities real and imagined, physical and virtual. -- Clint Watts * Washington Post *
Merits close attention, as it goes a long way to making sense of the current political landscape ... a devastating indictment of a political culture out of control -- Alastair Mabbott * The Herald *
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“A must read if you want to understand why modern political campaigning is so messed up.”
Highlights how we have let our democracies become corrupted by a small group of ultra-right ideologists (Alexander Nix, Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer et al) who have used data (provided unknowingly or illegally by... More
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