For the first time, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower tells the inside story of the data mining and psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, connecting Facebook, WikiLeaks, Russian intelligence, and international hackers.
...an invaluable primer on psychological warfare and behavior modification ... Given that Wylie was at the heart of this work, and that he displayed real sociological understanding of what the data was revealing, his account provides a useful, crystal-clear exposition of the power of psychographic profiling when it’s done right. And it suggests that electoral campaigning has now moved on to a different level.
Wylie...takes readers into some of the darkest corners of social media manipulation while at the same time showcasing one man’s journey as a self-styled whistleblower ... MindF*ck, it seems, is Wylie’s shot at redemption, his public alert to the dangers of loose data and the sinister spin artists of social media ... MindF*ck demonstrates how digital influence operations, when they converged with the nasty business of politics, managed to hollow out democracies—not to mention Wylie’s very soul ... He details in hundreds of pages his role in making social media a battlefield for political warfare ... His account of the charlatans of digital influence rings true to me. And his personal story, woven into the book’s narrative, illustrates the confusion of our current political era as well as the challenge to Wylie’s fellow members of the social media generation as they seek identities real and imagined, physical and virtual ... Wylie’s book offers invaluable lessons for any generation about how social media influencing works ... In addition to illustrating how social media manipulation works, Wylie offers insight into some of its chief characters, including those credited with elevating Trump ... To read MindF*ck, one might conclude that Cambridge Analytica alone engineered the entire global populist revolution we see today. But political strategists I’ve met in recent years refer to the company as digital snake oil, only one of many social media efforts pushing Trump.
...freewheeling and profane ... After reading Wylie’s memoir, you’ll have learned something ... Some of Wylie’s pronouncements sound schematic and jarring, especially when he talks about 'the rise of jihadism and the popularity of Crocs' as analogous 'products of information flows,' but there’s often insight in the unexpected connections he draws, and it’s not hard to see why he and Bannon initially bonded over their shared obsession with culture ... Wylie covers plenty of ground, explaining in illuminating and often scary detail how Cambridge Analytica exploited the data to create Facebook pages that would needle 'neurotic, conspiratorial citizens,' propagating an outraged solidarity.