Facebook's role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy | Carole Cadwalladr


In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the “gods of Silicon Valley” for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

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  1. David Normandin 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    "He purchased his five bedroom, five bathroom home in the Crescent Park neighborhood of Palo Alto in 2011 for a paltry (by comparison) $7 million, then proceeded to spend an eye-popping $43 million to purchase four surrounding homes." Just a little paranoid?

  2. Doggle Bird 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    The Electoral Commission has been unable to prove any wrongdoing by the Leave side even though it tried and the police are not pressing any charges. You are full of crap, Carol. Turkey was preparing to join the EU and Britain promised to "pave the road from Ankara to Brussels". You open your mouth and lie..lie ..lie. Your type of "journalism" is utterly foul.

  3. RUDE M. 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    I was kicked off of Face Book three or four times. Just for sharing Christian worship music. Plus: For sharing Holy Bible verses with friends and the public. There is no one to complain to. They just kick you off. I lost four thousand Face Book friends. Plus: I was kicked off of Face Book for sending Christmas Cards out. I did not know Face Book is anti Christian. Now I know. Yet, Face Book allows men to post nude photos of them self. Or even nude photos of women . Yet, to share Bible verses , I was kicked off of Face Book three times. Face Book will promote lies. Will promote false ads and misinformation . Why ? The money. So by sharing false information on people running for office . This can hurt their campaign. The world needs to enforce rules and laws against Face Book. Face Book is doing what ever it wants. Mark Zucleburg is allowing all this. He just does not care how many people get hurt. Or does his staff. How many elections have failed to a good candidate because of the deliberate evil motive and intent of Face Book. There is no live person to talk to . No person to speak with for questions or help. In all the wrong Face Book has caused not even once has Face Book ever been sued. They should be sued in the trillions and billions. They must be held accountable. The United States does have freedom of speech. Yet, America has laws against slander and defamation of character. So because Face Book is in America . Face Book should be sued in the trillions for liable , slander and misinformation . This is fraud with malice and intent . Plus: How long has this been going on? There is what is called : The Freedom of Information Act. Face Book must be held accountable for all their crimes. They are getting away with it. When I was on Face Book, what crime am I committing by sending out Bible verses ? Or Christmas greeting cards ? Or Christian worship songs? Is this any excuse for deliberately kicking me off Face Book three or four times? Some thing must be done about Face Book. How many millions of lives have been destroyed by Face Book?

  4. Ale K 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    Sad reality . Great to hear your presentation. Gives us opportunity to question reality . Thanks for your work and passion to inform over stablishment corporations.

  5. sasso sasso 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    it's so strange that this it's not something viral, i mean, it's so fucking important, AN ENTIRE TOWN, with this mind, just because they saw something on the internet.
    this shouldn't have ONLY 895 K, this deserves at least, 10 milion.

  6. Valentin Condeescu 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    U leaving the U. E. But if u leaving the Earth wasn't better🤣. Anyway u make shadow on Earth. Brit 🤣

  7. RJR 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    We have a very similar threat to our democracy here in Australia. Social media played an influential part in our most recent elections, slowly uncovering what could be our own democracy crisis. This publication gave me a good insight into the complexities of the democracy debate, which includes observations on citizen dissatisfaction and how populist movements arise: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316228375_Resist_and_Revivify_Democratic_Theory_in_a_Time_of_Defiance

  8. Max Colwell 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    It's a threat to democracy when the outcome is against your viewpoint. (Brexit / Trump)

    It doesn't need to be discussed when the outcome is what you want. (Right-WIng Social Media Censorship)

  9. John Jacobs 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    If any adult believes that Leave had an overall advantage over Remain, despite the £7 million pound leaflet, despite Obama coming over here to promote Remain, despite Obama threatening us with the back of the queue, despite the BBC, despite Channel 4, despite all the 'celebs' with their millions of social media followers, despite everything else, they need medical help.

  10. John Jacobs 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    2018 – UK put £13 billion in to the EU and got £4 billion back. So, Ebbw Vale got precisely. A big fat zilch from the EU, and you know it. You're a fraud.

  11. Legal Vampire 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    To be fair, the pro-EU remain side were supported by our national broadcaster the BBC, most of the establishment, most people in the arts and academia who took a public position, and the Treasury, at the heart of government, issued dire warnings of the consequences of Brexit that have since proved false and probably deliberately biased.

    The Remain side and trendy liberal/left opinion notoriously convince themselves that if public opinion is against them then the public must be thick media-manipulated morons, rather than try to understand their concerns.

    The speaker thinks that voters in Ebbw Vale who voted out of concern at immigration must be stupid dupes of right-wing lies because there are currently few immigrants in Ebbw Vale.

    The answer to that is 1. Such voters probably go outside Ebbw Vale from time to time and/or hear from friends or relations living in other places about how much of the rest of Britain is being transformed by immigration and rightly wonder how long before it happens to where they live too. A transformation that began in some districts of larger cities in the 1950s and 1960s has already spread throughout such cities and to larger towns. I have seen it reach smaller towns in the last couple of decades. Few places ultimately will be unaffected. 2. Even if natives of Ebbw Vale are not yet experiencing much competition from immigrants for jobs and housing in Ebbw Vale, they certainly will if they want to pursue employment opportunities in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Reading or elsewhere, so if jobs are short in Ebbw Vale it will be harder and more expensive to seek work elsewhere.

  12. Domere Taylor 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    So let me get this straight. Facebook used targeted ads for a demographic most likely to approve of those ads and you think that's stealing an election? Lol

    If you're arguing that they should have transparency with who they target that's reasonable. But people get targeted ads all the time. And I know liberals like to think people who vote red are gullible idiots but there is no ad you can show me for Hilary Clinton that would make me vote for her. Did you ever consider that they were just effective at targeted ads with that demographic and just did effective profiling? Just because you're not in a district affected by illegal immigration does not mean I agree with the principle of allowing illegal entry. Ultimately it's a negative thing and I would vote against in on principle whether I was personally affected or not. Those people would have probably (by majority) voted the same way regardless. Lets remember it was a coal town and you left (pun intended) because you hated it. Lol

    I agree on the point of transparency with ads but lets stop pretending everyone would vote blue if not for advertisement. That's silly. You sound like Hilary Clinton bitter because a vote didn't go your way and now you got all these excuses for why! Goodnight.

  13. Gunnar Gundersen 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    I see Aaron Banks investigation by the National Crime Agency has been dropped and the Electoral Comission issues a non-apology today. Cadwalladr is a Conspiracy Theorist and polemicist masquerading as a journalist.

  14. Nigel Alderton 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    7:20 Since this talk was given the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Aaron Banks; "Having investigated the matters referred by the Electoral Commission, it found that there was no evidence of any criminal offences having been committed by Mr Banks"


  15. Nigel Alderton 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    6:07 "Turkey is not joining the European Union. There is not even any discussions of it joining the European Union"


  16. Stephen Kamugasa 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    This talk made such a powerful impression on me that I have used it to support a blogpost, 'The true cost of relativism to democracy -Part 1' – published today. You may kindly look it up by visiting, https://thekamugasachallenge.com/true-cost-part-1

  17. Lance Mannion 11 June, 2020 at 19:22 Reply

    Carole would not investigate if The Brits didnt Brexit and Trump didn't smoke Crooked Hillary !!!! Carole show your investigative journalism pieces against Liberals & DEMONCRATS !!!

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