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Dark Arts of Politics is a challenging arena, and success in this arena calls for a specialized set of abilities. Politicians have a variety of weapons at their disposal to increase their chances of winning elections, including the capacity to influence people’s opinions, the skill of manipulating public sentiment, and the know-how to use technology to their benefit. Nonetheless, there are circumstances in which the use of such instruments can cross the line into the area of being unethical or even unlawful.
One such instance occurred during the presidential election in Nigeria in 2015, when a group of consultants employed by the UK-based company Cambridge Analytical were accused of engaging in unethical practices in order to influence the outcome of the election in favor of their client. The organization has a reputation for using data-driven ways to influence voter behavior, but in Nigeria, it is alleged that they behaved in a manner that exceeded the bounds of what is considered acceptable Dark Arts of Politics political behavior.
In this post, we shall investigate the shady Dark Arts of Politics political practices that “Team Jorge” and Cambridge Analytical employed in order to interfere in the election process in Nigeria. We are going to take a look at the strategies they employed, the outcomes of their decisions, and the lessons that we can take away from this situation.
The Unethical Practices of Dark Arts of Politics:
The term “dark arts” refers to Dark Arts of Politics political strategies that violate ethical standards, violate moral standards, or break the law. These strategies include attempting to change public opinion through the use of propaganda, false information, and inciting fear; engaging in voting suppression; and even resorting to violence in order to accomplish Dark Arts of Politics political goals.
Politicians have been known to employ these strategies for a long time. In point of fact,Dark Arts of Politics politicians and the people who support them have utilised them throughout history in order to acquire power. On the other hand, because of the proliferation of new technology and the growth of social media, these strategies have gotten more nuanced and efficient in recent years.
Cambridge Analytica is an organisation that has established a strong reputation for itself in the field of data-driven political consultancy. The company, which began operations in 2013, made the claim that it could influence voter behaviour through the use of data analytics and psychological profiling. They had previously worked on Dark Arts of Politics political campaigns in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other nations, but their participation in the election in Nigeria would turn out to be their most controversial undertaking.
An Overview of the Nigerian Election:
The race for president of Nigeria in 2015 was a close one between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, and his primary opponent, Muhammadu Buhari. The race was very close. Jonathan had been in control of the government since 2010 and was now running for another term. A former military ruler, Buhari was standing for president for the fourth time, and he had pledged to combat corruption and enhance security.
The election was widely regarded as a significant litmus test for Nigeria’s democracy, which had a history of being undermined by issues such as electoral fraud, violence, and corruption. The country’s electoral commission had stated that it would run free and fair elections, but there were concerns that the ruling party would use its control of state resources to influence the outcome of the vote. The electoral commission had stated that it would conduct free and fair elections.
Enter ‘Team Jorge’:
The Jonathan campaign decided to enlist the assistance of a group of consultants from Cambridge Analytica in order to increase their chances of victory in the election. Mark Turnbull, who had prior experience working on Dark Arts of Politics political campaigns in both the United Kingdom and the United States, served as the team’s leader.
Because Jonathan’s middle name is Jorge, the team was affectionately referred to as “Team Jorge.” Their mission was to identify potential voters with the help of data analytics and psychological profiling, and then to convince those folks to vote for Jonathan. They asserted that they have access to the personal information of millions of Nigerians, including as their phone numbers, residences, and voting records.
The strategies that were used by ‘Team Jorge’ included the production of fabricated news reports, the dissemination of propaganda on social media, and even the employment of people to attend rallies and give the impression that Jonathan’s campaign was gaining traction. In addition to this, they employed psychological profiling to zero in on particular voters, such as women and younger people, and send them communications that were specifically targeted to address the issues that were important to them.
The Effects That ‘Team Jorge’ Has Had:
It is difficult to determine the extent to which ‘Team Jorge’ and Cambridge Analytica’s role in the election affected the outcome. The Jonathan campaign was unsuccessful.
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