Tuesday, March 27, 2018
The Scheer Cons and the Secret Internet War
I'm sure that by now most people have heard of the young Canadian Christopher Wylie, who blew the whistle on the Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook data mining scam.
And since Wylie once did some work for the Liberals, a few days ago Andrew Scheer was loudly demanding that Justin Trudeau explain any connection he might have to him.
But no longer. Now Scheer is strangely muted, and with good reason.
For as the old saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
And the Cons are the ones who have something to hide.
Among them, the data mining adventures of Hamish Marshall.
Hamish Marshall, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign manager for the 2019 election, says he’s a “huge fan” of building detailed psychological profiles of Canadian voters and targeting them with personalized political messages.
“Combining psychographic information, demographics about someone’s psychology is extraordinarily useful”– although Marshall cautioned: “it’s not for the faint of heart.”
The uber right-wing nerd who spends his time drilling into the heads of Canadians, and doing for Scheer and his Cons what he once did for Ezra Levant's hate mongering Rebel.
Not unlike Steve Bannon, Marshall’s love for data found synergy with his role as director of an alt-right media outlet, Canada’s Breitbart knock-off: Rebel Media.
Marshall told Maclean’s he was only “involved in helping them with technological and web aspects of the business,” but in actuality, he played a central role harvesting data from Rebel Media viewers and managing their database.
But that's not new. Marshall bragged about his psychographic analysis services back when he was working for his former company Torch.
And before that while working at another company, Go Newclear, he made it clear that him and his merry band of right-wingers see politics as war...
And of course, we already knew that his appointment as Con campaign manager made Scheer's ties to Levant's rebel impossible to deny.
But what is new, and what the Cons would prefer you not notice, is that they already have an individually targeted secret internet war going, like this country has never seen.
With their Facebook ads alone, far outstripping the opposition.
The smallest ad set Thursday was from the NDP. Its ad set had just four ads in it. The Liberals had 25 ads in its ad set and the Conservatives had a whopping 247 ads.
Of the 247 Conservative ads, 240 of them attack 16 different Liberal MPs by name for supporting what the Conservatives call “Trudeau’s values test” — the rule, put in place by the Trudeau government that organizations applying for federal summer job grants had to affirm that they supported a woman’s right to choose.
On YouTube, professional looking ads from unknown sources are proliferating, and even Michelle Rempel's hideous videos come in a bright new packages.
While on Twitter, all kinds of new sites supporting the Cons are multiplying like mushrooms...
It's hard to tell a real site from a bot.
Fake news is everywhere.
And with Cons like these running this internet horror show...
I think it's safe to say that it's only going to get worse.
So it's probably time that progressives started fighting back, or at the very least asking some hard questions:
Why is Hamish Marshall, the co-founder of a hate mongering site like the Rebel working for the Cons?
What exactly are him and his merry band of Cons up to, and have we seen this show before?
And lastly but not leastly, are we ready to make sure that those right-wing extremists don't steal the election?
For if we do not stop them, that is exactly what they will do...