Data collection company Cambridge Analytica has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons…
The investigative reporting done by the Guardian and Channel 4 exposed the role that CA has played in manipulating elections across the world, including playing a potentially crucial role in the 2016 US elections.
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And according to their website, they had a presence in Indonesia once upon a time…
“Full-Scale General Election Campaign Management CA was contracted to manage the election campaign of one of Indonesia’s major political parties following the restoration of democracy in 1999.”
Without naming the specific entity, CA was contracted to help influence the outcome of the 1999 election at a turbulent time in Indonesian history.
“The campaign was extremely complex and needed to appeal to over 200 million people across 40 languages in the Indonesian archipelago. With the recent Asian financial crisis and departure of the former ruler, CA played an important role in managing the robust feelings present in the populace.”
It also shows how important and effective these kinds of data collection agencies can be in managing the outcome of elections, particularly in highly populated countries.
Though it is unclear whether Cambridge Analytica was contracted in later elections, they were definitely used throughout South East Asia in various election campaigns, particularly highlighting their effectiveness in Malaysia.
But the nefarious use of Social Media may be the worst kept secret in Indonesian politics.
With the high volume of activity of Indonesians on Social Media – it simply makes sense to use platforms to influence voters.
Troll farms cook up, plug in and churn out information straight to your news feed that ranges from the truthful, twisted to the outright fake.
This is yet another reminder of the importance of deciphering trustworthy news in a time of abundant information. In this day in age, nothing could be more important than being internet literate. So remember:
Be careful of the news you consume on the internet.