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Research Shows Some Campaigns Using Weaponized Data To Target Voters

A report from Miami University says some data used by political campaigns to persuade voters is being weaponized to target voters who are most likely to be influenced - and they may not  realize it.

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

The report says data-driven advertising is helping political groups, including secretive dark-money groups, profile consumers to create targeted messaging, which can be based on fears and perceived threats. And these groups can then hide those sometimes inflammatory messages to avoid negative publicity. Researcher Matthew Crain says this “digital influence machine” could have a huge reach.

“Any political issue, from national elections to very localized municipal elections to any kind of ballot measure is ripe for this kind of political influence.”

Crain says the platforms making money on digital advertising need to be pressured to refuse to work with dark money groups, and to tell consumers when their data is being used this way.


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