tv Doc Film - Unfair Game - How Trump Won Deutsche Welle January 13, 2018 6:15am-7:00am CET
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the twenty sixteen u.s. presidential election was one of the most contentious in american history. critics say donald trump and his supporters didn't play fair. many say that trump overstepped the traditional rules of political contests often playing fast and loose with the truth. trump was elected without a political majority and he was supported by a group who wanted to impose a reactionary world vision on america. this group quietly mapped trump's path to power influencing the race in ways of which many people are still not aware. how was this possible. how did a political outsider with extreme views and
a tenuous relationship to the truth achieve this incredible victory. was the american public tricked into opening the doors of the white house to donald trump was the us election and unfair game. all of our lives and fake news came from i. think if americans knew this was happening they would be out. this is democracy taking place it's not democracy. to try to. take over the government states and destroy.
i will preserve the facts plainly and hardest. like all politicians trump contends that the facts are on his side but distortions of the facts played a central role in his election. staten island new york in a mostly democratic state this place is an exception most people here voted for donald trump. from the sky by joe is one of them he's a conservative a patriotic artist and above all a big supporter of the new president. fed up with traditional media scott now gets his information on the internet it all spend like analogous ad
for go to sleep i have my phone on it it all go from this to that then all chant made a speech i didn't hear it today we hear it now i made it and sometimes it's i don't even honestly i don't look like who's giving it away. like millions of trump voters scott believes much of what he sees on the web. for example this article trump believes millions voted illegally. or this one that hillary clinton received over eight hundred thousand illegal votes. i'm not saying all three million are but i'm sure a lot of them are absolutely you should not be able to vote if you are in a league if you're not a legal citizen i'm sorry but that's outworks and then they want to change that like no that's not how it works. in fact illegal immigrants cannot vote in the united states it would be nearly impossible for them to do so. these sorts of reports are what people originally meant by the
term fake news. scott is far from being the only one to believe lies like this millions have gobbled them up and certain news outlets specialize in them. breitbart is the most famous example. on breitbart you can find articles like does feminism make women ugly. or would you rather your child had feminism or cancer or. breitbart is also obsessed with islam the west versus islam is the new cold war here's how we win. for political correctness protects muslim rape culture. breitbart is a real french publication it's the representative of what they call the old right you know people who want to take on the status quo politics but do so in
a very divisive way they're they rail against immigrants to this country they rail against people of muslim faith they you know devout use taxes to divide people on the basis of gender of the basis of race in just a few months breitbart became the main source of information for many american conservatives it's the sensually served as an organ for sort of the tribe of men. trump seems to have instinctively sensed that the vision of the world breitbart projected would touch a nerve with broad segments of the american electorate the key was anxiety. people wanted to describe the trump voters as angry i'm not sure they were angry i think they were more fearful worried concerned scared about about the future in the spring of two thousand and sixteen if we looked at the people who were voting in republican primaries these people were very concerned about terrorism very
concerned about immigration they they saw the two of them working together as creating a threat an exodus an accidental threat to the to the united states and this was something that was. being spoken about by donald trump and not necessarily by other republican candidates. during the campaign often took to social media to feed public anxieties. conspiracy theories essentially become weapons of mass manipulation hard to believe . an independent fact checking website only four percent of donald trump statements during the campaign were completely true.
trump supporters passed on the candidate's many fanciful statements and outright false words. you have to look at our media landscape and how americans get their news nowadays conservatives get their news only from fox news or alternative sites like breitbart so that's the only news they see and they view the main what they call the liberal media the mainstream media with distrust and they don't believe the kind of c.n.n. new york times washington post so they are only getting their news or law most of their news from very slanted sources and so what trump will say picks up his information from the same news sources these voters hear something conspiracy theory and breitbart news or something on fox trump hears it too says it and the voters as i feel are for a different on the news and i heard that from president trump so he must be telling the truth if they're in a silo and it's really hard to break out silos so it's
a self reinforcing cycle of mr. with many americans utterly distrust in the established media there was little the press could do to counter the minds. sort of a way that these campaigns have you know traditionally been covered and. and that model of campaign coverage was not sort of created with donald trump in my hands trump's disregard for making true statements is something that a lot of reporters have had trouble dealing with as we're not used to it we're not used to politicians or press people just sort of straight out lying. the mainstream media is disrupted and because the mainstream media is disrupted truth is disrupted and if truth is disrupted you can just spread your invention but
. i don't know that corruption has reached a level like never ever before in our country. eighty three eighty three wilshire boulevard a stylish address in los angeles in this nondescript building people work behind the scenes to elect donald trump. and this is the location of several companies that would seem to have no connection. to the first is breitbart news the fake news website that supports trump.
the second is called glittering steel it's a small audio visual production company. but these companies have one thing in common. they are linked to a man that the public has never heard. the man behind trump's win is robert mercer a computer engineer turned billionaire. robert mercer is seventy one years old the only recently stepped down as the c.e.o. of a hedge fund firm renaissance technologies whose ranks he had been climbing since one nine hundred ninety three. carol has been investigating him for the last year or so robert mess. he is an absolutely brilliant scientists. did really pioneering work. in the sixty's and in the field
of natural language processing which is the base of ai basically. in the early one nine hundred ninety s. mercer left i.b.m. to join a new york based hedge fund renaissance technologies there he applied his methods of calculation to the stock exchange in order to predict its punctuations. reactions technologies he pointed. out a rhythmic trade which now is a massive field and how much trading it's down. by applying his mathematical tools mercer revolutionized renaissance technologies investment methods making it the world's most profitable fund in ten years. became very rich. because the performance of the site and which he had his own money here. was
extraordinary i mean if it goes up thirty percent thirty five percent every year then pretty quickly you become very. as a billionaire mercer might have chosen to quietly enjoy his new fortune however the former engineer also heads. strong ideas about how the country should be run he decided to invest money to promote his ideas and translate them into political reality. the political system in america is so broken right now because of the special interest money which floods campaigns i mean what happens is when the special interests have an agenda if you're annoying company for example and you'd like to continue you know drilling for fossil fuel you know or your polluter and you want to make sure you can continue to pollute you go in and you support politicians who believe in your agenda politicians who will say for example that you know climate
change is not happening because of bad made activities you know they will they will promote that publicly because that protects the special interests who fund their campaigns. robert mercer had his own charitable foundation the mercer family foundation headed by his daughter rebecca. but what exactly are the ideas he wanted to promote hard to say because robert mercer never expresses his opinions publicly . anyway you'll never know what's going on in robert this is brian said just look that one sunday follow the money that way and i think back on a bill for the paycheck. tax documents and declarations of the foundations fiscal allocations for the years two thousand and twelve to twenty fifteen show that mercer financed a reactionary right wing institute and lobbies. the
heritage foundation an anti-tax and economic regulation lobby got one point five million dollars the media research center which fights leftist media bias twelve million dollars. to govern. meant accountability institute which tracks government corruption and published books critical of hillary clinton three point seven million dollars. the heartland institute which defends climate change skeptics two point eight million dollars. in new york even paid for an ad denouncing the construction of a mosque near ground zero in just two years robert mercer became one of the ten most influential billionaires in politics according to the washington post. but even if the billionaire was able to spend money to support his causes he still faced an obstacle his ideas were too extreme for the mainstream media to get them
across he needed his own journalistic out. in twenty eleven breitbart news a small right wing online newspaper was in great financial difficulty robert mercer saw an opportunity he bought breitbart for ten million dollars at its head he placed his right hand man a man who cropped up at all stages of trying to election campaign stephen k. bannon. a former goldman sachs trader steve benen became a hollywood producer in the late one nine hundred ninety s. he wanted to make films and t.v. series to promote his political ideas ultra conservative ideas at a conference then and was introduced to robert mercer. the two men hit it off immediately ben then quickly became mercer's eminence to use. in
a few months ben and would make breitbart news an attack machine dedicated to reactionary idea you see that with the breitbart publications over the course of many years it was someone like bannan who just proclaims this publicly that they're going to take on the sister to sins and they're going to try to deconstruct the government of the united states to pursue the agenda that they have which is to you know fundamentally chases they shouldn't try to through you know a place where people experience a level of division that i don't think we've seen since you know going back to the civil war. mercer now had his media outlet all he needed to make his ideas reality was a candidate. in two thousand and fifteen mercer started out by supporting texas senator ted cruz the hero of the american far right but after donald trump surprise victory in
several republican primaries mercer switched his bets. robert mercer created a pro trump action committee called make america number one in doubt with fifteen million dollars. and the billionaire didn't stop there he would totally take over donald trump's campaign. in july twenty sixth seen the dinner was held in a big hotel in new york it brought together among others rebecca mercer and donald trump face to face that evening rebecca mercer pulled no punches trump's campaign she said was chaotic and unprofessional if he wanted to win everything had to change she offered him financial and media support in return she for. the republican candidate to replace his campaign manager by the family's right hand man
steve benen. at the end of this dinner everything was decided bannon became donald trump's campaign director. kellyanne conway who headed the mercer political action committee for ted cruz became number two. david bossie a mercer family stalwart became number three. robert mercer's takeover had succeeded from this point on his hand-picked trio would steer the republican candidate strategy. when the merc versus decide to support a candidate they expect the candidates to be responsive to their needs both in terms of how the candidate runs their campaign it also also after if the candidate is successful and there are and they are elected as an office holder it's reasonable to presume that the mercers expect that the office holder will be
responsive to the bursar's needs needs as well and their policy preference. the there will be no law yes we will auditors the american people with a truth and nothing else. it was on the banks of the ten's that the last american presidential election was partly decided in the heart of london at the headquarters of a firm unknown to the general public called s.c.l. group strategic communication laboratories. and these offer. says scientists compile and analyze billions of pieces of data about individuals in order to understand them their objective to determine what
motivates human behavior the better to influence them. the strategic communication of s.e.a.l. as a company that was founded twenty five years ago they have several branches of military branch of commercial branch an analytical branch and an election project and what they really do is psychology so they try to use psychology to influence people focus. on their website the firm is very clear about it services behavioral influence planning and evaluation is ideal for clients who wish to use influence to treat a problem. it's a way of not change people that's the working towards better outcomes for them but it also can be used to manipulate people without them being aware and it can
and has been used by authoritarian regimes. critics say that s.c.l. is in the business of manipulating public opinion the company boasts for example about organizing protests in nigeria in two thousand and seven to influence the elections. s.c.l. also intervened during an election on the island of st vincent in the caribbean in a rather surprising way. extraterrestrial elections how to get a candidate elected hiring people to put graffiti on the walls creating a problem with us in this country because their candidate had prepared an answer to the problem and so they really created a problem just so they could then solve it. in short s.c.l. sets up ultra targeted political in. fluid strategies. and then suddenly what happened i think in around two thousand and twelve is they discovered data and
they discovered it what you could do with data. to position themselves in this new market as c.e.o. group would create a new subsidiary in the us called cambridge analytic. except i wanted the idea is to hide behind another structure resenting themselves as an english company newly arrived in the us cambridge analytic who will offer roughly the same services. in creating cambridge analytic s.c.l. partnered with an american billionaire and not just any old one a mathematician specializing in data robert mercer the vice president of the firm of his faithful stalwart steve banning before he joined the trump campaign. from the outset the objective was clear nothing less than a revolution in the way election campaigns were conducted despite multiple
interview requests cambridge analytical has always refused to speak with us so to understand exactly what they do we did something very simple we watched their ads. political campaigns have changed they're no longer about running the most t.v. spots sending out the most direct mail or spending the most money they're about to spend the smartest money in today's political world campaigns are getting more expensive elections are won by small but crucial numbers of votes putting the right message in front of the right person at the right moment is more important than ever this is where cambridge analytical in our revolutionary data modeling techniques can help. put that way winning elections seems easy firm has embarked on an unprecedented operation to compile millions of peace. is of data on american voters without their knowledge. here's how it works.
imagine that inside this car is mr x. mike anyone he leaves thousands of pieces of personal information on the internet without realizing his address his age his income his hobbies his purchases and also his religion and whether or not he owns a gun. cambridge analytical bought this data from credit card companies banks and health care providers as well as from web giants like facebook google or twitter the practice is completely legal although none of these companies wants to talk about the data they sell in total cambridge analytical ended up with four to five thousand pieces of data for each of the two hundred thirty million adults living in the united states an enormous amount to see how they plan to use this information just watch the rest of the at traditional political campaigns use geography and demographics like age and gender to break down voters in the target
groups this can work up to a point but it misses the important personal details that really drive voter behavior we combine geographic and demographic information with up to five thousand data points of national political consumer and lifestyle behavior for every voter in the united states then we add a unique extra layer of data about personality decision making and motivation. this creates an unparalleled rich and detailed view of voters in the issues they care about so you know exactly who to target with exactly what type of message we call this behavioral micro targeting our team of data scientists psychologists and campaign experts can show you which individual voters you need to win over in order to secure victory. this is not science fiction the idea is. to test people psychologically and then to compare the results with the data to know what motivates people so as to influence their vote. it's
a technique that only exists. one of its inventors teaches psychometrics at stanford university california. his name is michelle kosinski. metrics is basically a science of psychological measurements so basically have not is that instead of using question to ask you about your thoughts feelings experiences and past behavior such as are you a well organized person you can basically look at you with digital footprints and see what are you in fights i well organized person in real life. tests to determine a person's psychological traits are called ocean tests. they measure personality based on five criteria openness conscientiousness extroversion agreeableness and
the right a series of. these tests operate with seemingly innocuous questionnaires that can be completed on line like these which superhero are you which wizard of oz character are you. what movie are you. in two thousand and eight mcculloch kositsky created the most famous of these tests on facebook called my personality a questionnaire allowing users to learn more about them stamps became really popular we had over six million people to take the question there and a large fraction of these people have donated their facebook profile information to us and from this information you can use. algorithms to transform this information into a very detailed and very accurate intimate profiles. as a result because in skee has the largest psychometric database in the world
a database he can cross reference at will with the facebook profiles of the six million people who responded enough data to know a lot about you. so basically you can turn your facebook likes into an actor it's a prediction of your political views religious views your personality intelligence happiness sexual information or even what are your parents were divorced or not people often ask me how accurate those algorithms are at predicting our intimate traits and i think that a great example comes from our recent study where we have compared the accuracy of the miss with accuracy of other people so what we did we took friends and family members of our participants and we ask friends and family members to feel and personality question in the name of our participants now we would provide algorithm with a set of facebook likes and have it do the same thing so based on your facebook likes
trying to predict your personality. the results of this experiment are staggering by studying ten of your likes on facebook the algorithm knows you better than your colleagues do with one hundred likes it knows you better than your family does and with two hundred thirty likes it knows better than your partner. computers that combine personal data and psychological tests to predict human behavior can something like this possibly work. the answer is yes. david carroll is a media professor at parsons university in new york he battled for months to retrieve the data that cambridge analytical has on him and he was amazed at what he discovered. is the excel spreadsheet that they provide. it's broken into three tabs core data election
returns and models the model on the one hand there were dozens of personal data items the firm gathered from the web registered now this is all the voter data here and this is what would normally be public in voter records but it it's all accurate it has the day i registered to vote it has figured out my birthday my address the zip code down to you know all of my address it's connected it to census information it's connected to all the different kinds of elections so u.s. congressional state senate state house state legislative then you have some consumer information here like the designated mark information and f.i.p.s. it is another kind of consumer voter code on the other hand was the psychometric interpretation of his personality that's how you can really zero in and target the model is my profile so you can see the different topics were ranked in order of
importance my registered partisanship my unreligious or partisanship you clearly see who their client was it didn't measure me as a democrat or republican just a very unlikely republican and you can also see sort of the model itself is in the interest of sort of finding. conservative voters especially conservative voters who might be registered as a democrat but are actually going to vote republican so being able to go down to the zip code level and then reus sociate that to all other election districts allows you to geo target. so precisely and that's how you're going to move the needle in u.s. elections i think if americans knew this was happening and happening internationally they would be outraged. funded by robert mercer and headed by steve benen cambridge analytical offered its services to candidate donald
trump. by late june twenty sixth seen the partnership was a done deal and on july twenty ninth the first payment was sent to the english company you can find it in the campaign accounts in four payments between july and october twenty sixth teen cambridge analytical would receive nearly six million dollars. at the same time the political action committee for donald trump funded by robert mercer would also pay over five million to cambridge analytic. english firm would receive eleven million dollars to work with the trump campaign. from aug twenty sixth teen the robert mercer election winning machine was running full speed ahead for trump all that was needed now was a strategy to put it to use in the american elections. certainly beat some camp
which include cambridge analytical saw something in the american electorate that the clinton campaign and the media certainly did not see. thanks to cambridge analytic as knowledge of the electorate trumps advisers would devise a highly targeted strategy based on the particularities of the us elect or assist. in the united states the president is not elected directly by the people but by the electoral college appointed in each of the fifty states. not all the states have the same number of electors that makes some states more important than others. the trump camp suspected that they would not win the national vote so it's trying to just decided to concentrate on states. knowing that they would lose the national popular vote. how do you
win well you win by capturing the electoral college how do you do that you try and figure out a way of where you can go to appeal to relatively small numbers of people he was going to places that a lot of people thought why is he doing that he shouldn't be doing that he should be going someplace someplace else we didn't there was a strategy of looking at places that had been thought of as consistently democratic states states like michigan wisconsin and pennsylvania all three of which mr trump carried on in november. this was the strategy recommended by cambridge analytical rather than trying to convince millions of voters across the entire nation to vote for trump the campaign targeted tens of thousands that the firm knew through its analyses were on the fence. if you are somebody here who's. clever. and you're just you're
looking i mean what he does algorithmic trading it's all about finding the tiniest edge is that tiny tiny tiny edge that you have any of your competitors that you can leverage and make a massive difference in the money and i think this idea of using data and the potential manipulation through apart form facebook in stacking just enough to give you that edge that then you can exploit three things like faith and all these other techniques and tactics. here's the technique set in motion by the scientists at cambridge analytic using the information they had on the electorate they defined thirty two types of personalities throughout the country they said thousands of individual eyes messages targeting those considered to be the most neurotic or worried and therefore susceptible to donald trump's messages.
the firm identified many such voters in three states wisconsin michigan and pennsylvania these three states they believed could swing in favor of trump. in a press release cambridge analytic or openly explained its strategy. when in the final weeks of the race the firm's data scientists recalculated voter turnout and recalibrated their models to show how donald trump could win the g.o.p. candidate revisited states like michigan and wisconsin. but there is one question that the english firm did not address how did they reach these targeted voters they did it without their knowledge using a little known facebook feature dark post.
they do see the idea is that a company or a facebook page can put out a message for a specific population of us from dan that this message is only visible to that group of it because it will not appear on their own page in an electoral context it means that candidates can target individuals on facebook with negative messages against the other candidate without journalists being aware because these messages will not appear publicly as. this christmas out of. the manuscript. so dark posts are very personalized messages visible only to the person for whom they are intended how does it work exactly. let's go back to mr x. thanks to cambridge analytical trumps campaign knows he's in favor of carrying firearms so it will create a message just for him. for example did you know that hillary clinton wants to take your gun away and he'll receive this message in his facebook news feed at
a specific time according to his habits and digital fingerprints no one but him will see the targeted at and it will disappear a few hours later. as no record of them you've got no way of investigating that you have no idea who saw what and this is democracy taking place in darkness it's not democracy you can't have a political debate have you out in the i don't know who is arguing what and here is being told what and the idea of just sort of like sneakily targeting people with who know what's on their phones and on their computers. with anything when they could have been saying anything we'll never know because that's what it's on facebook service is the interesting thing but they're not giving up. this digital onslaught focused on the last few weeks of the campaign on nov eighth
twenty sixteen against all odds wisconsin by twenty three thousand votes michigan by eleven thousand. and pennsylvania by forty three thousand in total seventy seven thousand votes in these three key states carried trump to victory even though he got three million votes fewer than hillary clinton. in the country as a whole cambridge analytical strategy seems to have worked. we can see that approximately seventy thousand voters made the decision for everyone else because they were the ones in the districts that ended up deciding. they think this highlights as well our electoral college system is a vulnerability that if software and data allows the most important voters to be easily found it and. diminishing the vote of everyone
else effectively. politics and democracy was the next industry to fall we knew that technology and interrupted newspapers in general listen and music and it was like actually harry is we've been talking all this time about how great you know technology is it disrupting things like when to for the next disruptive technology and i was a this is tell you know that you disrupting politics and and it's not just politics it's democracy and donald trump is the great disruptor. donald trump's election was not a fair fight. never has
a candidate relied so much on misinformation and secret voter targeting cambridge analytical continues to pursue its political work after the united kingdom and the us psychometric firm has begun to work with other clients for instance in africa. its methods are always the same to micro target segments of the public and influence the vote without people knowing about. so following the example of what happened in the u.s. the use of personal data could now disrupt politics in many other countries.
in the thick of things but way up high chicken presenter nicole fruition visits berlin's legendary thoughts stomach lights the day from classes once again a one umbrella in-flight movie is distract and interact with others from all over the world but what exactly in the day comes to see the day we're going to find out and she has insider tips for places even many locals don't know discovering the term appliance. next. eco act africa. while shot in south africa. simply talking about conservation is good enough. an organization introduces local
views to wildlife and conservation through photography. the wild shots outreach program in the kruger national park brings children closer to nature. go into africa in thirty minutes on d. w. . busy covering it's come to life from body and let's go right to our correspondent news in central istanbul i'm joined by the show a couple of you know whose political correspondent on those stories in just a minute but first this news just in it's all about the perspective closer d.w. news. oh dropping bombs on civilians. more troops the situation escalates there's no longer in the first kabul's. ruthless calculation military leaders were coping extent of the past close technological progress closer to come the gracious massacres cut. her
a moment to give to her starting february third aung gyi w. the white house says president trump will reapproved the nuclear deal with iran which grants sanctions relief to tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program but mr trump's administration has warned it's the final time he will approve the deal unless it is changed significantly he has repeatedly denounced the agreement with iran as bad for the u.s. . after a last minute breakthrough in efforts to agree a blueprint for talks to form a grand coalition in.