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Aggregate AIQ's targeted fake news ads for vote.Leave (and illegally for Be.Leave) used a two step strategy. First they needed to collect your data. So they either bought it from Facebook, or got you to give it away free by participating in fake competitions like this
Once they had your data, they'd use your age, address and social media history to target you directly. Most ads were interactive, and every click you made gave them more information. If you posted lots about animals, for instance, they'd target you with ads and lies like these
Sometimes they'd send out what seemed to be non-political ads, based on topical themes. Once again, the idea was to get you to react by clicking one of the answers. Because as soon as you did that, they'd have more information on you, and could target you better next time
As far as immigration was concerned, the Leave campaign's fake ads knew no restraint. Even people who weren't too concerned about imigration before would be scared by ads, or better said lies, like these
And don't forget, these vote.Leave lies went hand in hand with UKIP's poster campaign, which used Nazi imagery to instill immigration fear
This is one of the illegally distributed ads from Be.Leave. It seems softer and more inclusive than those from vote.Leave, but the message, or lie, is still the same: foreigners are taking your jobs and pushing down pay!
Not surprisingly, given the amount of lies told by vote.Leave, Boris was the only politician to voluntarily appear in their ads. Here he is jumping on the immigration bandwagon
Jeremy Corbyn was also instrumentalised by the Leave campaign. This ad was targeted at younger voters and accompanied by the real Corbyn quote: "The EU takes away from national parliaments the power to set economic policy and hands it over to an unelected set of bankers."
It was all about targeting. If the data collected on you told vote.Leave that you were interested in business, you'd be targeted by ads like this
And if you were more concerned about the NHS, then you were targeted with the same £350 million lie that Boris, Gove and all the others were selling you on the side of a bus
In fact, even if your data showed that you weren't interested in politics, and just liked to relax in your armchair with a cup of tea, vote.Leave and Aggregate AIQ would still find a way to get to you!
But the most frightening thing of all about these targeted adds, which were illegally financed and used data collected on you without your knowledge, was that they really did have an effect on how people voted. Especially in the final day of the campaign.
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