The man behind Donald Trump and Steve Bannon partnership is unveiled. Big data billionaire and Breitbart co-owner Robert Mercer reportedly uses his assets to wage war on mainstream media.
According to Independent, the hedge-fund billionaire has also played a big role on Brexit.
Mercer’s firm reportedly offered free service to help Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Mercer directed his data analytics to cater to the Leave campaign when it comes to targeting voters in Facebook. This support from Mercer’s company was not reported as a donation service to the electoral commission.
Trump’s campaign has paid up to $6 million to utilize Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica, a British company which has 25 years of experience in military disinformation campaigns and “election management.” The Cambridge Analytica is set to have cutting-edge tech when it comes to building voter profiles and triggers.
The strategy, which also helped Nigel in the U.K., uses harvesting of users’ Facebook and other social media data and integrating them with machine learning to “spread” through their networks.
Communications Director of Leave.eu Andy Wigmore told the Observer that the data that they were seeing was “creepy.” Wigmore added that the advancement of artificial intelligence in targeting their audience during the campaign customizes their advertisements. With more than a million people in their database. Even Leave.eu founder Arron Banks noted that Cambridge Analytica has “world class” AI that helped them gain “unprecedented levels of engagement.”
“It is creepy! It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.”
With this kind of technology, Mercer has directly influenced the Trump campaign.
The Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr said that she has had a first-hand experience with the power of this AI and its advertising strategies.
Cadwalladr said that it was a week ago when Trump called the press, “liars.” When that happened, she did a Twitter search on “Trump” and found out that the majority of users were describing him as “crazy,” a madman and a lunatic.
However, Trump’s supporters had a voice in the platform as well as she found out comments praising the president: “You show ’em!!!!”; “Go Donald!!!!” and “FAKE news MSM liars!”
Cadwalladr has been monitoring the issue of media being a fake for two months now. Using the biggest search engine in the world, Google, she would use the keyphrase “mainstream media is…” and find autocomplete suggestions such as “mainstream media is…dead, dying, fake news, fake or finished.”
As part of an organization considered as mainstream media, Cadwalladr found that Google’s first suggested link led to a site called CNSnews.com, where the majority of the articles point to mainstream media being “fake” and “dead.”
Apparently the CNSnews.com is owned by Media Research Center, a self-proclaimed American “media watchdog,” whose goal is to provide “unwavering commitment to neutralizing leftwing bias in the news, media, and popular culture.”
Cadwalladr then found out that this organization has received more than $10 million in funding from the one and only, Robert Mercer.
“If you follow US politics you may recognise the name. Robert Mercer is the money behind Donald Trump. But then, I will come to learn, Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Mercer started backing Ted Cruz, but when he fell out of the presidential race he threw his money – $13.5m of it – behind the Trump campaign,” Cadwalladr noted.
Trump may have been going head-to-head with mainstream media, but he has a bankroller who has donated more than $45 million to “all Republican” political campaigns as well as $50 million to “all right wing, ultra-conservative” non-profits.
“This is a billionaire who is… trying to reshape the world according to his personal beliefs.”
Mercer does not speak to journalists. When it comes to his affiliations and political inclinations, one can only follow his money trails, and so far, it is going towards Trump’s direction. So, even though Trump has a battle with mainstream media, he has a massive backer in the face of tech billionaire Robert Mercer.
[Feature Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]