In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which has thrust data-driven campaigning practices into controversy, owner and managing director of Blackbox Research, David Black shares with South China Morning Post how efforts to get inside the minds of voters are as old as politics itself.
In the past couple of weeks, there has been a chorus of political schadenfreude even though many of those taking the opportunity to shame Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are also relying on similar, if not the same, new political campaign methods. If they have not, they probably wish they had been. But the fact is that efforts to get inside the minds of voters are as old as politics itself. Today, the main difference is that, like almost everything else in modern life, campaigning is undergoing digitisation. Gut feeling and instinct is fast being replaced by algorithms and predictive modelling that help to reduce the guesswork (although don’t offer anything resembling certainty).
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