Connect with us

World

“The Great Hack” makes you think twice about how you use social media

Tim Newton

Published

 on 

It’s a documentary about Cambridge Analytica. You know, that dodgy company you’d never heard of until The Guardian and New York Times did some real reporting and dug into the deep, deep hole we’ve dug for ourselves by leaping into social media without reading the fine print.

It’s a Netflix production as the online streamer continues to become a mainstream producer of excellent material.

‘The Great Hack’ is over two hours long, a long sit for a documentary but it’s compelling. There are a few main characters, and a few villains, that expose the backend of the ‘Trump’ campaign and then the ‘Leave’ campaign before the Brexit.

Whilst everyone will have an opinion about the outcomes of those two campaigns, The Great Hack exposes exactly how the unlikely results became likely. It unravels a true life conspiracy theory and exposes it as fact.

The premise is well known. In any election there is a firm rump on either side and then a handful of swinging voters. The people at Cambridge Analytica called them “The Persuadables”. The trick is to 1) Identify them 2) Learn about them and then 3) Cram them with persuasive, not necessarily factual, information to influence their vote.

"The Great Hack" makes you think twice about how you use social media | News by Thaiger

Cambridge Analytica, backed up by a few successful political campaigns before, had honed a system where they ‘mined’ or ‘scraped’ information from Facebook (that point is well investigated in the documentary too), and then bombarded “The Persuadables”. At the height of the Trump campaign Cambridge Analytica were spending US$1 million per day on Facebook advertising. And “The Persuadables” were persuaded – the rest is history.

In one of the most revealing scenes a hidden camera shows key members of Cambridge Analytica coming up with the ‘crooked Hillary’ narrative that was to become one of Donald Trump’s best known media points throughout the election. Whether you wanted to believe it or not at least now you know it all came from the data-spinners of Cambridge Analytica.

The most contentious and fascinating character in the program is Brittany Kaiser, a former Obama intern who sold out to become a “posh conservative” working on Cambridge’s “Leave EU” and Trump propaganda campaigns. She then spills the beans on the machinations of the ‘system’ that has now been revealed to have had a profound impact on these two politically significant events.

She visits Phuket to speak on camera and dump on her former employees (nice to see Thailand dragged into the mess, well, scenically anyway). Her battle with her own moral compass is subtle and engrossing.

There’s David Carroll, a college professor who took Cambridge Analytica to court to reclaim his data, a heroic mission. And then there’s The Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who was one of the key investigative journalists who went after Cambridge Analytica and unravelled the whole scam.

It’s certainly the best documentary of 2019 and probably the most important. And the lessons to be learned by all of us are stark; the take home message “be a lot more careful about what you choose to share on social media”.

Highly recommended by The Thaiger, if only to see the great aerial shots of Phang Nga Bay.

"The Great Hack" makes you think twice about how you use social media | News by Thaiger "The Great Hack" makes you think twice about how you use social media | News by Thaiger

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 950 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current CEO for company, based in Bangkok.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

17 people in close contact with Omicron-infected traveller test negative

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Omicron under control, Illegal border crossing, Thailand’s recovery | Dec 7

Thailand7 hours ago

Crane collapses in Samut Prakan, killing a man and injuring 2 others

advertiseadvertise
Crime7 hours ago

Chiang Mai street vendor with busty top files sexual harassment complaint with police

Thailand7 hours ago

Three arrested in human trafficking crackdown near Myanmar border

Thailand8 hours ago

Hua Hin luxury resort guest claims “peeping Toms” stared at him naked

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand8 hours ago

168 Thai soldiers apparently forced to finish masturbating before showering

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact with Omicron confirmed to be negative in second test

Video10 hours ago

Grammar mistakes, Homemade coffee, Bhutan | Thaiger Bites | Ep.76

Southeast Asia10 hours ago

Myanmar ousted leader’s prison sentence reduced to two years

Chon Buri10 hours ago

Tourists stranded an island off the coast of Sattahip rescued by Royal Thai Navy

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand deploys “King Cobra” unit at Myanmar border to monitor illegal crossings

Phuket13 hours ago

Thai Airways offering round trip Sydney-Phuket flights

Chiang Mai13 hours ago

1 tourist killed, 8 wounded in crash while on tour of Chiang Mai mountain

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact to Omicron case tests positive for Covid, variant not confirmed

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism10 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending