(Editor’s Note: Please note, there is some foul language in this story.)

If you haven’t yet heard about this story, settle in, I’m going to try and unpack the nightmare for you. I’m assuming Facebook is going to receive some backlash for this at some point and I hope they do! (Maybe that’s why their stock is tanking right now?)

Two years ago, user data from Facebook wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica (a company that offers services to businesses and political parties who want to “change audience behavior”) and more specifically, the hands of Christopher Wylie. The self-described gay, Canadian vegan, was tasked with developing what he’s termed “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool.” 1 


He did this by combining “social media’s reach with big data analytical tools to create psychographic profiles that could then be manipulated in what Bannon and Cambridge Analytica investor Robert Mercer allegedly referred to as a military-style psychological operations campaign to target U.S. voters.”2 

Then, on Saturday, after giving reports of his activities, the Observer and New York Times officially made him a whistleblower. Or what Guardian & Observer writer Carole Cadwalladr called, “The Millennials’ first great whistleblower?”

And what did Facebook do in response to seeing the info they had known about for years, become public knowledge? What did Facebook, the purveyors of “truth” do? They suspended his account:


Wylie’s former employer, Cambridge Analytica, also had something to say about essentially being labeled as despicable, sending out a series of tweets on Saturday that took issue with Wylie’s version of events:

But on Sunday, Facebook noted that the suspension was the same given to Cambridge Analytica for not deleting, back in 2015, the private data they had collected via a personality quiz app (users did have to opt-in to share their personal information with that app, they didn’t opt-in to having that info shared with Cambridge Analytica). While CA claimed they did, Wylie said they did not and Facebook saw it as a further violation of trust.3


Watch out, there’s a lot of “it said, he said” flying around. We will update you should more information become available.

Sources and References

  1. Yahoo, March 18, 2018.
  2. Yahoo, March 18, 2018.
  3. CNET, March 19, 2018.