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Thread by @saradannerdukic: "Remember when I said that taking a step back can reveal what’s really there? twitter.com/i/moments/9788… Well, HOLY SHIT, take a HUGE step b […]"

43 tweets, 10 min read
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Remember when I said that taking a step back can reveal what’s really there?
twitter.com/i/moments/9788…
Well, HOLY SHIT, take a HUGE step back and look at this. LOOK AT IT:

2008: Birther conspiracy appears seemingly out of thin air (reportedly from an anonymous email). Watch Cambridge Analytica talk about how they specialize in this exact fucking thing.
channel4.com/news/cambridge…
2009: FB takes $200 million from Russian investors
techcrunch.com/2009/05/26/fac…
2010: Tucker Carlson launches Daily Caller
theguardian.com/media/pda/2010…
March 8, 2011: NPR/Project Veritas scandal (first reported by Daily Caller)
npr.org/sections/thetw…
Again - CA is on hidden camera explaining how they do this exact fucking thing.
March 2011: Trump amplifies “birther” conspiracy on the View (and then Fox & Friends, and Today)
And then on the Today show:
March 2011: NBC/WSJ poll re 2012 republican candidates
news.gallup.com/poll/146987/am…
May 2011: It’s announced that Trump had spent a million dollars on research regarding his candidacy. LET'S GUESS WHO DID THIS RESEARCH.

google.com/amp/politicalt…
May 2011: Trump suddenly, inexplicably drops the birther bullshit and announces he will not run after all
washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/…
And more in general on Trump and birtherism - the band members were around then, too:
nytimes.com/2016/07/03/us/…
There’s other stuff I want to add to this (but am still looking/thinking researching), but what do you think it means?

I think it means they either had a failed attempt, or they were testing the shit out of all this in prep for 2016.

And look how far back it goes.
I don’t have anything else to say at the moment except I’m so pissed and upset my heart is pounding.
As one of you said, just the dots; no thread between them (that I know of, yet).
Okay, I’ve calmed down and put the kids to bed. Here’s my thinking behind the idea of this being a trial. In digital marketing, a common tool that is utilized is what’s called A/B testing.
blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-…
In A/B testing, you have a goal, and you test different methods of arriving at the goal. Examples of goals might be “I want this person to click this link,” “I want this person to give me their email address,” or “I want this person to engage by sharing, commenting, or liking.”
In A/B testing, you have a goal, and you test different methods of arriving at the goal. Examples of goals might be “I want this person to click this link,” “I want this person to give me their email address,” or “I want this person to engage by sharing, commenting, or liking.”
There are even tools out there that create “heat maps” of your site so you can see where people are scrolling and clicking the most:
crazyegg.com
Another thing you might test is exit intent overlays. This is basically a way of getting people to stay engaged when it looks like they’re about to leave your site.
maxtraffic.com/blog/how-to-ru…
Another thing you might test is exit intent overlays. This is basically a way of getting people to stay engaged when it looks like they’re about to leave your site.
maxtraffic.com/blog/how-to-ru…
The main thing is that is that in order to measure effectiveness of what you’re doing, you have to be testing apples against apples. You couldn’t test an ad about, say, HRC’s emails with a red button color against another ad about immigrants with a blue button color.
You wouldn’t know if the difference in results would be because of the content, or the buttons.

(And I use the term “ad” loosely. What they actually ran were masquerading as legitimate news)
So: if they wanted to test a myriad of tools and methods - at least from my perspective - their results would be much more accurate if they were all centered on the same (explosive, divisive, racist) story.
And the toolset they built for 2016 had to have been massive. They would have had to analyze multiple events - some of them unexpected - in real time and constantly be adjusting things ranging from text and button colors and placement all the way up to deploying trolls and bots.
CA themselves said they were taking data on INDIVIDUAL VOTERS and whether or not they'd voted (they had their voting registration linked to their FB profile!) and re-targeting accordingly.
If I had a toolset like that, and if I were attempting something this insane, I’d make damn sure that shit got tested over and over and over.
The birther story also probably served as a way to secretly gain understanding of your target audience. Which articles did they share the most? What were their comments? How long did it take for a certain idea or article to gain traction?
How did they generally react to your messaging? How did friends and family react when they shared it? What did they say about their friends and family when they asked "WTF are you talking about?"

This would have all provided key insights with which to fine-tune your copy (text)
They would have secretly gained insight to the left as well. How did they react? What were they saying in the comment sections of WaPo about birtherism? What pisses them off? What are they fighting with each other about? How did it look along racial lines on the left?
I kept thinking how odd the whole birther thing was. He was pushing it incessantly for 6 weeks, then suddenly stopped and wouldn’t talk about it anymore. Then announced they’d been doing campaign research that they intended to use later.
It was written off as him being an idiot, but knowing what we know now...
Finally, about 6 months after Trump was done with birtherism, that’s when Facebook decided to tinker with people’s emotions through their study on mood contagions. || END || (for now)
nytimes.com/2014/06/30/tec…
Remember who Trump's first pardon was? It was this guy. washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost…
A few more things…(I’ll organize all this better later, I promise)

The reason Project Veritas in 2011 jumped out at me was this: remember how they recently tried to dupe the Washington Post?
washingtonpost.com/investigations…
Well, James O’ Keefe/Project Veritas also claimed to be embedded in the Clinton campaign in 2016
newyorker.com/magazine/2016/…
And Project Veritas also received a $10,000 “donation” from the Trump “Foundation” in 2015.
I think they were also testing the left + moderates in 2011. Remember, statistically they aren’t as vulnerable to fake news and crazy memes. So it has to be more subtle.
slate.com/articles/healt…
If I wanted test *exactly* how something spreads, I’d want to have control of where and how it originates. I’d want to be able to see an exact map of its journey, know where it falters, know what best networks and routes are, and what stumbling blocks I could fine tune against.
And maybe one of you could flesh this out better than I can - but a map could be achieved by placing malware or spyware on whatever site you want to originate with, could it not?
Enter Daily Caller (and I think we can all agree that Tucker Carlson has shown his true colors now, and it doesn’t matter how much he ballroom dances: he’s an asshole)
dailycaller.com/2011/03/08/npr…
So NPR gets caught on tape, Daily Caller pushes it out, and (hypothetically) they’re tracking what happens. This would have also been an opportunity to gain knowledge about left and moderates and how they react and behave when someone/something they like very much looks bad.
Some more food for thought: marketing guru Seth Godin says that when it comes to getting attention, bad or bizarre ideas get more attention and traction. Noticed anything bad or bizarre about Trump? tedxsydney.com/idea/playlist-…
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