FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist  Chat Chat  UsergroupsUsergroups  CalendarCalendar RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google, Facebook election fixing: internet giants techniques

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom Forum Index -> The Bigger Picture
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
TonyGosling
Editor
Editor


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16161
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Google, Facebook election fixing: internet giants techniques Reply with quote

Could Google fix an election? Researchers warn search ranking can have major influence on undecided voters
Search ranking artificially biased as an experiment - and changed the preferences of undecided voters by 15%
Researchers carried out experiment in recent Indian election
Fears changes to search algorithms or hacker attacks could influence results in close elections
Calls for Google's political search results to be regulated
Google claims its system is impartial
By MARK PRIGG
PUBLISHED: 20:17, 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 23:55, 12 May 2014
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2626515/Could-Google-fi x-election-Researchers-search-ranking-influence-undecided-voters.html

Altering search results has a major effect on the voting preferences of undecided voters and could swing a close election, researchers have claimed.

Researchers analysing an Indian election found undecided voters paid far more attention to search rankings than previously thought.

They say search results can alter the outcome by up to 12% in some cases.

Researchers analysing an Indian election found undecided voters paid far more attention to search rankings than previously thought. The new study suggests that biased search rankings can be used to fix the outcome of elections in which the winner is projected to win by a margin up to 2.9%. +2
Researchers analysing an Indian election found undecided voters paid far more attention to search rankings than previously thought. The new study suggests that biased search rankings can be used to fix the outcome of elections in which the winner is projected to win by a margin up to 2.9%.

HOW THEY DID IT
In the new study, participants were randomly assigned to groups in which search rankings favored either Mr Kejriwal, Mr Gandhi, or Mr Modi in the recent Lok Sabha Elections.

Real search rankings and web pages were used, and people were asked to research all the candidates just as they would on Google.

The only difference between the groups was the order in which the search results were displayed.

The new study suggests that biased search rankings can be used to fix the outcome of races in India in which the winner is projected to win by a margin up to 2.9%.

This can be done just by influencing undecided voters who use the internet – a small but important group of voters that is sure to grow in coming years.

Studies show that the higher the rank, the more people trust the result, which is why companies are spending billions now to push their products higher.

Researchers at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California wanted to see if the effect was similar on political candidates.

RELATED ARTICLES
Previous
1
Next

There's a hole in the Sun! Nasa reveals video showing...

The face of GAMING revealed: Photographer morphs thousands...
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Share
In research conducted last year in the US, researchers found that altering search rankings so they were biased in favor of a candidate could push the preferences of undecided voters toward that candidate by 15% or more.

The team carried out a new study in recent weeks with more than 2,000 undecided voters throughout India.

The researchers have shown that votes in India can easily be pushed toward one candidate or another by about 12% - double that amount in some demographic groups - enough to determine the outcomes of many close races.

'This is a very serious matter – a real threat to democracy,' says Dr Robert Epstein, lead researcher in the study.

'If two candidates were both trying to push their rankings higher, they would be competing, and that’s fine.

'But if Google, which has a monopoly on search in India, were to favor one candidate, it could easily put that candidate in office by manipulating search rankings, and no one could counter what they were doing.

Even if without human intervention the company’s search algorithm favored one candidate, thousands of votes would still be driven to that candidate.'

However, Google hit back at the claimed, telling MailOnline: 'Providing relevant answers has been the cornerstone of Google's approach to search from the very beginning.

'Our results reflect what's on the web, and we rigorously protect the integrity of our algorithms.

'It would undermine people's trust in our results and company if we were to change course.'

The researchers have shown that votes in India can easily be pushed toward one candidate or another by about 12% by search engine rankings +2
The researchers have shown that votes in India can easily be pushed toward one candidate or another by about 12% by search engine rankings

In the new study, participants were randomly assigned to groups in which search rankings favored either Mr Kejriwal, Mr Gandhi, or Mr Modi.

Real search rankings and web pages were used, and people were asked to research all the
candidates just as they would on Google.

The only difference between the groups was the order in which the search results were displayed.

The new study suggests that biased search rankings can be used to fix the outcome of races in India in which the winner is projected to win by a margin up to 2.9%.

This can be done just by influencing undecided voters who use the internet – a small but important group of voters that is sure to grow in coming years.

HOW GOOGLE RANKS ITS RESULTS
Google says its ranking algorithm uses over 200 signals to give you the most relevant answers to your question - be that links to websites, a photograph, a news story, a video, a book or a direct answer.

'We continue to finesse these algorithms and make over 800 changes a year to ensure the best results,' the firm says.

The average query response time is roughly a quarter of a second - with the average blink of an eye is a tenth of a second.

Examples of these signals include:
• Freshness and quality of content on the webpage
• Synonyms of words in your search query
• Whether the best result is a webpage, images, video, news article, etc.
• The number (and quality) of other websites linking to the particular website
• Spell check


The firm also constantly tweaks its methods, and says it made more than 890 improvements to search quality in 2013.

Overall, over 1,000 person-years have gone into developing the Google search algorithm.


Source: Google

Worldwide, the researchers say, upwards of 25% of national elections are won by margins under 3%.

The study also shows that certain demographic groups are especially vulnerable.

The voting preferences of 19% of women over 35 were shifted in the study, as were the voting preferences of 18% of voters who were unemployed.

'Of particular concern,' says Dr Epstein, 'is the fact that 99% of the people in our study seemed to be unaware that the search rankings they saw were biased.

'That means Google has the power to manipulate elections without anyone suspecting they’re doing so.

'To prevent undue influence, election-related search rankings need to be regulated and monitored, as well as subjected to equal-time rules.'

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/


Last edited by TonyGosling on Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
TonyGosling
Editor
Editor


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16161
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Facebook Shuts Down Pro Marine Le Pen Posts As French Election Nears
http://www.activistpost.com/2017/04/facebook-shuts-pro-marine-le-pen-p osts-french-election-nears.html

TOPICS:ElectionsFacebookFake NewsFranceJon Rappoport
APRIL 16, 2017 By Jon Rappoport

Well, sure. Wouldn’t you? The woman is running for the presidency of France. She wants to reverse the tide of immigration in her country, so she must be a racist, and whatever she says or whatever anyone else says in support of her is, automatically, fake news, mindless, evil, and the population must be protected from that infection. This is how free speech works. It’s free unless it could do harm, unless certain minds might be taken in by it, and apparently Facebook is stepping up to the plate. Mark Zuckerberg is long overdue for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Zero Hedge: “The first round of French elections will be held on April 23rd, prompting Facebook to shut down pro Le Pen accounts, which they deem to be ‘fake’.”

“In addition to outright bans, the company [Facebook], in conjunction with French media, are running ‘fact checking’ programs — designed to fight ‘fake news’, heightening their efforts around the elections — which spans from 4/23-5/7.”

France must be purified. Only then can media function.

Immigration, you have to understand, isn’t an issue. There is nothing to debate. Immigration is a fact, wholly beautiful, and anyone who wants to limit it is speaking against love, flowers, and the proposition that the sun rises every morning.

Facebook is providing a public service. Just as Mussolini made the trains run on time in Italy, FB is making the news run on time—the real news.

Fake news should be shut down. Free speech only concerns what isn’t fake. Yes, I’m beginning to see the light.

After fake news is purged, then we can have free speech.

Aha. Yes.
Somehow, I must have missed this when I studied the 1st Amendment. James Madison, who wrote it, made this note: “Except for fake news.”

The guiding principle should be: if you’re not sure whether an item or issue or report is fake, don’t talk about it, don’t write about it, don’t express an opinion about it, until the authorities have cleared things up, until they’ve decided whether it’s fake or real.

Mark Zuckerberg is providing us with an easy way to check. If he and his people censor a post, it’s fake. Ignore it. Remain silent.

And if you’re French, don’t vote for Le Pen, unless you want a faker as your president.

Things are basically simple. They really are. If you know how to follow the signs and the warnings and the people in charge.

For example, right now I can sense an errant thought creeping into my mind: a corporation based in the US is colluding with the French government to influence an election in France. But I reject that thought. I denounce it. I urge everyone to denounce it. Pretend I never uttered the thought.

Please. I beg of you.

It’s fake.

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
TonyGosling
Editor
Editor


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16161
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google secretly trialling war and election algorithms?


Internet search engines may be influencing elections
By David Shultz Aug. 7, 2015
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the findings is that a search engine doesn’t even have to intentionally manipulate the order of results for this effect to manifest. Organic search algorithms already in place naturally put one candidate’s name higher on the list than others. This is based on factors like “relevance” and “credibility” (terms that are closely guarded by developers at Google and other major search engines). So the public is already being influenced by the search engine manipulation effect, Epstein says. “Without any intervention by anyone working at Google, it means that Google’s algorithm has been determining the outcome of close elections around the world.”
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/08/internet-search-engines-may-be -influencing-elections


The search engine manipulation effect (SEME) and its possible impact on the outcomes of elections
August 4, 2015 - Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson - U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
We present evidence from five experiments in two countries suggesting the power and robustness of the search engine manipulation effect (SEME). Specifically, we show that (i) biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, (ii) the shift can be much higher in some demographic groups, and (iii) such rankings can be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/08/03/1419828112


Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites

By Andre Damon 19 September 2017
Google has intensified its censorship of left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, cutting the search traffic of 13 leading news outlets by 55 percent since April.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/19/goog-s19.html


Google’s ‘Alt-Media Off Button’ For Forthcoming War

January 9, 2018 Michael Tyler
https://www.michaeltyler.co.uk/googles-alt-media-off-button-forthcomin g-war/
That’s right. If ain’t saying what we wanted, we’re going to turn it OFF.
My site, like many other sites, blog, youtubers and other purveyors of ‘unique’ content felt the force of Google’s altered algorithms, robots and other nobs and whistles, as well as the hoards of employees sequenced to vet content and content makers responsible for publishing material not in the ‘public interest’.
Have no doubt this is the case.
So Google drafted in a massive change with this update. ‘tuber’s, bloggers, non-MSM news sites. They all took a hit. And why?
Because they were publishing ‘controversial content’.
‘*’ journalism. Stuff with funny jpg’s. Bits and pieces about China. Talking about cabbage?! No really, talking about cabbage could have got your content banned. I did a post on it here, Google demonetized a number of youtube stars .
They hit popular content with massive penalties; demoting searches for the domain itself and banning images hosted on the domain from showing up on image-search.
What is know as ‘shadow-banning’, partially banning content, making it available for some users and not for others.
Non-MSM sites such as WSWG, altmedia hit. I did a list of the alt-media sites hit by the Google April 2017 algorithm crack-down here.
It was a big thing

For a while…
Now it’s gone away…..
Speaking personally. My rankings have recovered.
New content is being listed, my domain is back searchable, (under domain.co.uk) albeit at a lower position than it should be. My images are back too.
It points to the fact, in tandem with other sites, which were also censored, now also making less noise, that Google was testing something.
Testing something, making sure it worked.
China has had one of these for a while. Russia has one. Iran has one......

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Life
Validated Poster
Validated Poster


Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 519
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When A Government Becomes A Corporation, What You Need To Know

https://thebridgelifeinthemix.info/british-law/government-corporation- death-raised-life/
Shocked

_________________
KEEP IT REAL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TonyGosling
Editor
Editor


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16161
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must Watch Video – Google Caught Manipulating Search Results in Favor of Hillary Clinton
Read more at https://www.maxkeiser.com/2016/06/must-watch-video-google-caught-manip ulating-search-results-in-favor-of-hillary-clinton/
http://www.maxkeiser.com/2016/06/must-watch-video-google-caught-manipu lating-search-results-in-favor-of-hillary-clinton/


The stealthy, Eric Schmidt-backed startup that’s working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House
By Adam Pasick & Tim FernholzOctober 9, 2015
https://qz.com/520652/groundwork-eric-schmidt-startup-working-for-hill ary-clinton-campaign/

An under-the-radar startup funded by billionaire Eric Schmidt has become a major technology vendor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, underscoring the bonds between Silicon Valley and Democratic politics.

The Groundwork, according to Democratic campaign operatives and technologists, is part of efforts by Schmidt—the executive chairman of Google parent-company Alphabet—to ensure that Clinton has the engineering talent needed to win the election. And it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs.

But campaigns—lacking stock options and long-term job security—find it hard to attract the elite engineering talent that Facebook, Google, and countless startups rely on. That’s also part of the problem that Schmidt and the Groundwork are helping Clinton’s team to solve.

The Groundwork is one of the Clinton campaign’s biggest vendors, billing it for more than $177,000 in the second quarter of 2015, according to federal filings. Yet many political operatives know little about it. Its website consists entirely of a grey-on-black triangle logo that suggests “the digital roots of change” while also looking vaguely like the Illuminati symbol:


“We’re not trying to obfuscate anything, we’re just trying to keep our heads down and do stuff,” says Michael Slaby, who runs the Groundwork. He was the chief technology officer for president Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a top digital executive for Obama 2012, and the former chief technology strategist for TomorrowVentures, Schmidt’s angel investment fund.

He explained that the Groundwork and its parent company, Chicago-based Timshel—which according to its website is named for a Hebrew word meaning “you may” and is devoted to “helping humanity solve our most difficult social, civic, and humanitarian challenges”—are “all one project, with the same backers,” whom he declined to name.

“There are a lot of people who can write big checks. Eric recognizes how the technology he’s been building his whole career can be applied to different spaces.”
Schmidt did not respond to several requests for comment. But several Democratic political operatives and technologists, who would only speak anonymously to avoid offending Schmidt and the Clinton campaign, confirmed that the Groundwork is funded at least in part by the Alphabet chairman.

The Groundwork was initially based in an office in downtown Brooklyn just blocks from the headquarters of its biggest client: the Clinton campaign. There, a staff made up mostly of senior software engineers began building the tools and infrastructure that could give her a decisive advantage.

Slaby has a reputation for being able to bridge the cultural divide between politicos and techies. And sources say the Groundwork was created to minimize the technological gap that occurs between presidential campaign cycles while pushing forward the Big Data infrastructure that lies at the heart of modern presidential politics.

There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party—and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion.

At a time when private-sector money is flowing largely unchecked into US politics, Schmidt’s funding of the Groundwork suggests that 2016’s most valuable resource may not be donors capable of making eight-figure donations to Super PACs, but rather supporters who know how to convince talented engineers to forsake (at least for awhile) the riches of Silicon Valley for the rough-and-tumble pressure cooker of a presidential campaign.

“There are a lot of people who can write big checks,” Slaby says. “Eric recognizes how the technology he’s been building his whole career can be applied to different spaces. The idea of tech as a force multiplier is something he deeply understands.”

The technology that helped re-elect Obama

Although Obama’s technology staff downplays credit for his election victories, there’s no doubt they played a crucial role. One former Obama staffer, Elan Kriegel, who now leads analytics for the Clinton campaign, suggested the technology accounted for perhaps two percentage points of the campaign’s four percent margin of victory in 2012.

The 2012 campaign’s analytics team constructed a complex model of the electorate to identify 15 million undecided voters that could be swayed to Obama’s side. They drew on databases which compiled a comprehensive record of voters’ interactions with the campaign—Facebook pages liked, volunteer contacts, events attended, money donated—and assigned them a score based on how strongly they supported Obama.

Those carefully constructed models and databases paid dividends for everything from advertising and campaign fundraising emails—which were rigorously A/B tested to determine the optimum wording and design (subject lines that said “Hey!” were found to be annoying but effective)—to voter polling and get-out-the-vote efforts on election day.

HARPER REED
Members of the Obama tech team, including Michael Slaby and Harper Reed, with Eric Schmidt in 2012.
Perhaps the standout innovation from the Obama campaign was known as “Optimizer,” a tool that allowed the campaign to deploy carefully targeted television ads. Rather than rely on broad demographic data about programs and time slots, the Obama tech team accessed detailed information from TV set-top boxes to identify the most cost-efficient ways to reach hard-to-reach voters. The campaign’s top media consultant, Jim Margolis—now Clinton’s top media consultant—estimates Optimizer saved the campaign perhaps $40 million.

After the campaign, Optimizer became the cornerstone of a new startup called Civis Analytics that spun out of the Obama campaign—and it had its genesis in an election day visit by Schmidt to Chicago.

From election day to startup

As the internal polling numbers rolled in, the boiler room full of campaign staff and White House aides also included a tech executive: Schmidt, whose financial support and advice to the campaign made him an unofficial fixture. With the campaign drawing to its victorious conclusion, Schmidt was shifting into another mode: Talent-hunter and startup funder.

AP PHOTO/CHARLES DHARAPAK
Schmidt and Obama at a White House meeting in 2009.
When the campaign’s analytics team declared victory at 2pm—hours before voting ended—by comparing early results to their model, its chief Dan Wagner recalls that Schmidt walked up to him and asked two questions: “Who are you? And what algorithms are you using?”

Wagner helped develop the Obama team’s ground-breaking approach to analytics in 2008, and made further refinements in 2012. But he says it was Schmidt who saw the commercial potential for the project—not just for political campaigns, but as a way to help private-sector companies decide how to effectively allocate their marketing budgets.

“I didn’t have any commercial intentions for anything, I was just trying to survive and elect Barack Obama,” Wagner says.

Nevertheless, immediately after the election, Schmidt backed Wagner and other members of his campaign team by becoming the sole investor in Civis Analytics, their data startup. Schmidt also invested in cir.cl, a social shopping startup run by Obama 2012 alumnus Carol Davidsen, who played a key role in the creation of Optimizer. (If you’re keeping score, that makes three Schmidt-funded startups run by ex-Obama staffers: Civis Analytics, cir.cl, and the Groundwork.)

What Wagner’s team built during the campaign, despite its innovativeness, was fairly clunky. “The thing that we built was pretty much a piece of junk, made of plywood in our garage,” Wagner says.

That’s because analyzing giant troves of data, knitting together disparate databases, and making it all work seamlessly is a tricky business, especially under the low-resource, high-pressure conditions of a presidential campaign. Building that tech infrastructure requires the most expensive kind of engineering talent, working under punishing time constraints. For Obama’s 2012 team, Slaby hired a developer named Harper Reed to serve as the campaign’s chief technology officer and build the campaign’s tech underpinnings.

Now Clinton’s campaign needs to build that infrastructure for themselves—or, even better, have a company like the Groundwork help build it for them. This time around, Schmidt backed the startup before the campaign even started.

Like Salesforce.com, for politics

So what does the Groundwork do? The company and Clinton’s campaign are understandably leery of disclosing details.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Clinton’s campaign is the Groundwork’s only political client. Its employees are mostly back-end software developers with experience at blue-chip tech firms like Netflix, Dreamhost, and Google.

GOOGLE
Clinton and Schmidt at a 2014 Google event, just days after the Groundwork was incorporated.
The firm was formed in June 2014, shortly after Clinton released a memoir about her time as US secretary of state and began a media blitz that signaled her intent to run for president—including an appearance with Schmidt at Google headquarters—though she did not officially announce her run until the spring of 2015.

Democratic political operatives and technologists said that the Groundwork’s focus is on building a platform that can perform the critical functions of modern campaigning.

These sources tell Quartz that the Groundwork has been tasked with building the technological infrastructure to ingest massive amounts of information about voters, and develop tools that will help the campaign target them for fundraising, advertising, outreach, and get-out-the-vote efforts—essentially to create a political version of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, like the one that Salesforce.com runs for commerce, but for prospective voters.

“They are a technology platform company, not all that dissimilar from a Blue State Digital,” a Clinton campaign staffer told Quartz. Blue State grew out of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential run and has become a cornerstone technology contractor for the Democratic Party and allied groups. “They provide a suite of services, donation, forum builders, things like that.”

The range of tasks anticipated for this platform—including volunteer coordination, fundraising, social-media marketing and events—makes it seem like the spiritual heir of the platform that Reed’s team built to integrate the Obama campaign’s various vendors, tools and data sources, which was called Narwhal.

That kind of database integration and number crunching may not sound terribly exciting. But building a list is the foundation of any campaign, and doing so digitally, with analytics and communications tools scaling across a nationwide campaign—with hundreds of paid staff and tens of thousands of volunteers—is no easy job, even for experienced engineers.

And it is an essential one for modern-day campaigns. The Romney campaign’s attempt to build a tool to compete with Narwhal (they named it Orca, the Narwhal’s natural enemy) famously fell apart on election day.

No Drama…Clinton?

Hillary Clinton’s last presidential run, like many ultimately unsuccessful campaigns, was hobbled by infighting among her consultants and staff. Even in the “no-drama Obama” 2012 team, the team had its own conflicts, with the engineers charged with building digital tools butting heads with staff charged with the campaign’s digital strategy.

“Who’s going to say, ‘Hey, billionaire smartest tech guy on the planet, thanks but no thanks?’”
Veterans of Obama’s campaign say Clinton’s hierarchy under campaign manager Robbie Mook is better organized to avoid such conflicts this time around, with chief digital strategist Teddy Goff over-seeing both the digital director Katie Dowd and Hannon, the highly regarded former Google executive.

“Hiring Steph may have been Hillary’s sharpest move to date,” says venture capitalist and Democratic fundraiser Chris Sacca, who tells Quartz she is “one of the most gifted and diligent technologists I have ever worked with.”

One source says Hannon is trying to reduce the campaign’s reliance on the Groundwork. But Schmidt’s stature in Silicon Valley, and his status as a major Clinton backer, may complicate any efforts to constrain the Groundwork’s involvement, and distort the typical balance of power between the campaign and a key vendor.

“Imagine you’re a mid-level person inside the campaign, or even the campaign manager,” one veteran Democratic operative says. “Who’s going to say, ‘Hey, billionaire smartest tech guy on the planet, thanks but no thanks?’”

Are startups the new Super PACs?

Today, corporations and wealthy donors have many ways to seek influence with politicians. While their donations to campaigns are limited to a maximum of $5,000 or hundreds of thousands to national party committees, they can also now set up Super PACs with unlimited money for political activities, so long as they don’t coordinate with the official campaigns.

That unlimited money is all well and good for many things a campaign needs—TV advertising, for example, and even field work. But if you want to help make a campaign more tech-savvy, it gets harder: a super PAC, nominally independent under byzantine campaign finance laws, can’t pay for tech infrastructure.

“Your world class skills are worth less because you’re doing it for a good cause.”
That’s the beauty of the Groundwork: Instead of putting money behind a Super PAC that can’t coordinate with the campaign, a well-connected donor like Schmidt can fund a startup to do top-grade work for a campaign, with the financial outlay structured as an investment, not a donation.

Schmidt, a major political donor, did not give money to Clinton’s campaign in the first half of this year, though a campaign official says he has visited the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters and is supportive of her candidacy.

With tech policy an increasingly important part of the president’s job—consider merely the issues of NSA surveillance and anti-trust policy, not to mention self-driving cars and military robots—helping to elect yet another president could be incredibly valuable to Schmidt and to Google.

And Schmidt’s largesse is not something that other candidates, either rival Democrats like Bernie Sanders or the crowded field of Republicans, will be able to easily match. The billionaire Alphabet executive chairman now boasts a growing track record for funding politically-minded tech startups. The jobs these create could make it easier to attract top engineers to political work without asking them to sacrifice pay and equity for a brief campaign sabbatical.

Slaby says that Groundwork and Timshel exist in part to help talented, highly in-demand engineers work for a larger purpose without having to totally abandon their compensation expectations.

“We’ve institutionalized this idea that if people are going to work on things that are important to them, they’re going to take a big pay cut—your world class skills are worth less because you’re doing it for a good cause,” says Slaby. “At the end of the day people crave purpose. But you also want to pay your mortgage and send your kids to college. That’s an unfortunate choice we put to people a lot of the time.”

But the Groundwork’s success in 2016 will not ultimately be judged on its prospects as a startup, but whether it helps to make Clinton the 45th president of the United States of America.

“Something I always say is, ‘You get zero votes for innovation,’” Goff, Clinton’s top digital staffer, tells Quartz. “If you do something innovative that gets you votes, that’s good … If you do something innovative and it doesn’t get you votes but a VC would like it, we don’t care.”

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/


Last edited by TonyGosling on Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
TonyGosling
Editor
Editor


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16161
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meet “Groundwork” – Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Stealth Startup Working to Make Hillary Clinton President
Michael Krieger | Posted Tuesday Oct 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.36.01 PM
https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/10/13/meet-groundwork-google-chairm an-eric-schmidts-stealth-startup-working-to-make-hillary-clinton-presi dent/

An under-the-radar startup funded by billionaire Eric Schmidt has become a major technology vendor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, underscoring the bonds between Silicon Valley and Democratic politics.

The Groundwork, according to Democratic campaign operatives and technologists, is part of efforts by Schmidt—the executive chairman of Google parent-company Alphabet—to ensure that Clinton has the engineering talent needed to win the election. And it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs.

There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party—and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Clinton’s campaign is the Groundwork’s only political client. Its employees are mostly back-end software developers with experience at blue-chip tech firms like Netflix, Dreamhost, and Google.

– From the excellent Quartz article: The Stealthy, Eric Schmidt-backed Startup that’s Working to Put Hillary Clinton in the White House

The following article from Quartz is fascinating, important and extremely troubling. It zeros in on a company you’ve probably never heard of called “Groundwork,” a startup backed by Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The sole purpose of the company appears to be to get Hillary Clinton elected President. What is so concerning about the company is that it appears to be little more than a clever way to get around the already extraordinarily loose campaign finance rules.

For instance, we all know about the rise of Super PACs and how they essentially allow unlimited funding to political candidates. The one limitation on their power is they are not allowed to directly coordinate with the political campaigns themselves. Enter “Groundwork,” which has seemingly found an exploitable loophole to this meager restriction. As such, the Quartz writers insightfully ask: “Are startups the new Super PACs?” It appears so.

From Quartz:


An under-the-radar startup funded by billionaire Eric Schmidt has become a major technology vendor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, underscoring the bonds between Silicon Valley and Democratic politics.

The Groundwork, according to Democratic campaign operatives and technologists, is part of efforts by Schmidt—the executive chairman of Google parent-company Alphabet—to ensure that Clinton has the engineering talent needed to win the election. And it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs.

The Groundwork is one of the Clinton campaign’s biggest vendors, billing it for more than $177,000 in the second quarter of 2015, according to federal filings. Yet many political operatives know little about it. Its website consists entirely of a grey-on-black triangle logo that suggests “the digital roots of change” while also looking vaguely like the Illuminati symbol:

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.59.04 PM

“We’re not trying to obfuscate anything, we’re just trying to keep our heads down and do stuff,” says Michael Slaby, who runs the Groundwork. He was the chief technology officer for president Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a top digital executive for Obama 2012, and the former chief technology strategist for TomorrowVentures, Schmidt’s angel investment fund.

Schmidt did not respond to several requests for comment. But several Democratic political operatives and technologists, who would only speak anonymously to avoid offending Schmidt and the Clinton campaign, confirmed that the Groundwork is funded at least in part by the Alphabet chairman.

The Groundwork was initially based in an office in downtown Brooklyn just blocks from the headquarters of its biggest client: the Clinton campaign. There, a staff made up mostly of senior software engineers began building the tools and infrastructure that could give her a decisive advantage.

There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party—and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion.

Nevertheless, immediately after the election, Schmidt backed Wagner and other members of his campaign team by becoming the sole investor in Civis, their analytics startup. Schmidt also invested in cir.cl, a social shopping startup run by Obama 2012 alumnus Carol Davidsen, who played a key role in the creation of Optimizer. (If you’re keeping score, that makes three Schmidt-funded startups run by ex-Obama staffers: Civis, cir.cl, and the Groundwork.)

Now Clinton’s campaign needs to build that infrastructure for themselves—or, even better, have a company like the Groundwork help build it for them. This time around, Schmidt backed the startup before the campaign even started.

So what does the Groundwork do? The company and Clinton’s campaign are understandably leery of disclosing details.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Clinton’s campaign is the Groundwork’s only political client. Its employees are mostly back-end software developers with experience at blue-chip tech firms like Netflix, Dreamhost, and Google.

The firm was formed in June 2014, shortly after Clinton released a memoir about her time as US secretary of state and began a media blitz that signaled her intent to run for president—including an appearance with Schmidt at Google headquarters—though she did not officially announce her run until the spring of 2015.

Now here’s the key question…

Are startups the new Super PACs?


That unlimited money is all well and good for many things a campaign needs—TV advertising, for example, and even field work. But if you want to help make a campaign more tech-savvy, it gets harder: a super PAC, nominally independent under byzantine campaign finance laws, can’t pay for tech infrastructure.

That’s the beauty of the Groundwork: Instead of putting money behind a Super PAC that can’t coordinate with the campaign, a well-connected donor like Schmidt can fund a startup to do top-grade work for a campaign, with the financial outlay structured as an investment, not a donation.

Schmidt, a major political donor, did not give money to Clinton’s campaign in the first half of this year, though a campaign official says he has visited the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters and is supportive of her candidacy.

Yeah he didn’t “contribute,” he just invented a startup company to get her elected President. Just another crony loophole, and a huge one at that.

And Schmidt’s largesse is not something that other candidates, either rival Democrats like Bernie Sanders or the crowded field of Republicans, will be able to easily match. The billionaire Alphabet executive chairman now boasts a growing track record for funding politically-minded tech startups. The jobs these create could make it easier to attract top engineers to political work without asking them to sacrifice pay and equity for a brief campaign sabbatical.

But the Groundwork’s success in 2016 will not ultimately be judged on its prospects as a startup, but whether it helps to make Clinton the 45th president of the United States of America.

Peasants, prepare to embrace your technocratic oligarch overlords.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom Forum Index -> The Bigger Picture All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group