Chief Executive of Cambridge Analytica (CA) Alexander Nix, leaves the firm’s offices in central London on Tuesday. He was suspended amid a controversy about the company’s use of social media data.
Top executives at Cambridge Analytica, the U.K.-based firm embroiled in a controversy over the mining of Facebook user data, have been secretly recorded describing the stealthy methods they used to help get Donald Trump elected.
In the second installment of a hidden-camera exposé by Britain’s Channel 4, in a conversation between CEO Alexander Nix and two other Cambridge Analyticaexecutives with an undercover reporter, the company officials also appear to allude to tactics that may violate U.S. campaign finance laws.
Nix tells the reporter, posing as a political consultant seeking help with campaigns in Sri Lanka, that he has met Donald Trump “many times,” while another senior executive said the “defeat crooked Hillary” advertising campaign was the brainchild of the firm.
“We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting, we ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy,” Nix told the undercover reporter.
“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape,” he says. “And so this stuff infiltrates the online community, but with no branding, so it’s unattributable, untrackable.”
To help disseminate that information, managing director of CA Political, Mark Turnbull, describes using “proxies,” such as charity and activist groups. “[We] use them — feed them the material and they do the work.”
As we reported Tuesday, Nix has been suspended from the firm following the broadcast of the first part of the Channel 4 report in which he is heard describing political dirty tricks used to compromise and undermine targeted politicians on behalf of their clients.
In the latest report, executives said the data analytics firm’s efforts had managed to get Trump elected by just 40,000 votes in three states, despite having lost the popular vote by more than 3 million votes.