Why Facebook’s suspension of Cambridge Analytica is instructive for Kenya

What you need to know:

  • Cambridge Analytica has generated interest in Kenya because various media reports claimed that it was also hired to work for the Jubilee Party – in the most recent elections and earlier elections.
  • What is currently known as data-driven political mobilisation is actually nothing new. Known as micro targeting, voters’ profiles are mined or analysed and algorithms used to generate and serve different political messages based on recipients’ differing personalities.
  • Facebook’s suspension of Cambridge Analytica had nothing to do with the very misleading political messages generated, commonly known as fake news. It had more to do with the fact that Facebook users’ profiles were harvested without their knowledge and consent.

Very few Kenyans had heard of a company called Cambridge Analytica until last week, when Facebook suspended it from operating on its platform. Cambridge Analytica is the company candidate Donald Trump turned to as its data analytics consultant during the last US elections.

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