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A GOP voter-targeting firm was doing massive data analysis on Reddit

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posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 11:24 AM
An interesting article about a SOCIAL forum like ATS, where people come to DISCUSS issues. APPARENTLY a GOP-hired firm was SCRAPING user data. Possibly to be USED for some kind of TARGETED social-engineering advertising?

A conservative analytics firm apparently scraped a huge trove of Reddit data as part of its voter-targeting efforts. As reported by Gizmodo, GOP-contracted company Deep Root Analytics accidentally put a folder titled “reddit” on a publicly accessible web server along with other internal records, which cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery discovered last week. It contains 170GB of data from several subreddits, but no indication of how Deep Root might be using the information.

What was INTERESTING was which "communities" on this social site WERE scraped. It SEEMS as if Deep Root Analytics KNEW which forums/communities of users to TARGET:

The subreddits in question range from innocuous to controversial. One was the banned subreddit r/fatpeoplehate, which Gizmodo speculates was picked for its connection to Trump fans — a FiveThirtyEight analysis of r/The_Donald members found that outside explicitly political subreddits, these users overlapped most strongly with r/fatpeoplehate members.

And while doing such entirely a NEW thing, no one had THOUGHT it could be POSSIBLE on Reddit, given most people use handles OR aliases (unlike Facebook):

Deep Root leaked profiles of nearly 200 million potential voters as well, and it’s possible that it was trying to match names to Reddit profiles — which would give them a deep look at the preferences of specific voters. Gizmodo notes that the Obama campaign matched voter records with Facebook profiles, but it’s unclear that someone could do the same with Reddit, where few people operate under their real names.

We all KNOW how Cambridge Analytica used TARGETED "suggested" stories, advertisements, pages and OTHER "native content" (DESIGNED to look user-generated) on Facebook during the election to SWAY and INFLUENCE the minds of possible voters...

The company could also simply be looking for correlations in Reddit users’ interests, which could help predict which messages will resonate with specific categories of voters. All we can say for sure from this leak is that political analysts are watching Reddit — which, given its prominence during the election, isn’t a surprise.

I believe this ISNT a liberal vs. conservative ISSUE. I believe this is an everybody issue. This WILL happen and DOES happen to every "side".

Given that ATS consistently ranks HIGH on Google searches, it begs the QUESTION...could the very SAME thing be happening here, on ATS as well?

What do you believe, and why do you believe it?

WHO is influencing YOUR mind....?

edit on 19-6-2017 by DanteGaland because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 11:56 AM
a reply to: DanteGaland

WHO is influencing YOUR mind....?

It isn't the people that own the MSM.
But that doesn't mean that they aren't influencing other people's minds.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 11:58 AM
Here's MORE detailed information from the ORIGINAL Gizmodo article:

The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on roughly 61 percent of the US population. Along with home addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research, and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity. The data was amassed from a variety of sources—from the banned subreddit r/fatpeoplehate to American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by former White House strategist Karl Rove.

THEY seem to cross-reference USER traffic history and "interests" I take it?

And how SAFE was all this data about YOU?

UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery discovered Deep Root’s data online last week. More than a terabyte was stored on the cloud server without the protection of a password and could be accessed by anyone who found the URL.

As I SAID...this ISNT a left/right or conservative/progressive ISSUE. This is an everyone issue. WE are being treated like NUMBERS in an EQUATION. The callous disregard for INFOSEC is ALARMING:

Although files possessed by Deep Root would be typical in any campaign, Republican or Democratic, experts say its exposure in a single open database raises significant privacy concerns. “This is valuable for people who have nefarious purposes,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said of the data.

SHOULD we hold firms like these ACCOUNTABLE when massive data BREACHES occur? I certainly NEVER willingly give people like this MY personal information to begin with!!

The rabbit hole goes DEEP. There is a complex and intricate network of data brokers selling information about you:

The RNC paid Deep Root $983,000 last year, according to Federal Election Commission reports, but its server contained records from a variety of other conservative sources paid millions more, including The Data Trust (also known as GOP Data Trust), the Republican party’s primary voter file provider. Data Trust received over $6.7 million from the RNC during the 2016 cycle, according to, and its president, Johnny DeStefano, now serves as Trump’s director of presidential personnel.

It gets MORE complicated as well:

The Koch brothers’ political group Americans for Prosperity, which had a data-swapping agreement with Data Trust during the 2016 election cycle, contributed heavily to the exposed files, as did the market research firm TargetPoint, whose co-founder previously served as director of Mitt Romney’s strategy team. (Funding from the Koch brothers also propelled a data company known as i360, which began exchanging voter files with Data Trust in 2014.) Furthermore, the files provided by Rove’s American Crossroads contain strategic voter data used to target, among others, disaffected Democrats and undecideds in Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and other key battleground states.

Deep Root further obtained hundreds of files (at least) from The Kantar Group, a leading media and market research company with offices in New York, Beijing, Moscow, and more than a hundred other cities on six continents. Each file offers rich details about political ads—estimated cost, audience demographics, reach, and more—by and about figures and groups spanning the political spectrum.

And it gets REALLY creepy when it comes to WHAT exactly they are COLLECTING about you as you discuss/post/share things...

Spreadsheets acquired from TargetPoint, which partnered with Deep Root and GOP Data Trust during the 2016 election, include the home addresses, birthdates, and party affiliations of nearly 200 million registered voters in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as some 2016 voters. TargetPoint’s data seeks to resolve questions about where individual voters stand on dozens of political issues. For example: Is the voter eco-friendly? Do they favor lowering taxes? Do they believe the Democrats should stand up to Trump? Do they agree with Trump’s “America First” economic stance? Pharmaceutical companies do great damage: Agree or Disagree?

And getting BACK to the Reddit data contained in all of that...

During the 2016 election season, Reddit played host to a legion of Trump supporters who gathered in subreddits like r/The_Donald to comb through leaked Democratic National Committee emails and craft pro-Trump memes. Trump himself participated in an “Ask Me Anything” session on r/The_Donald during his campaign.

Given how active some Trump supporters are on Reddit—r/The_Donald currently boasts more than 430,000 members—it makes sense that Trump’s data team might be interested in analyzing data from the site.

OK...I can understand that to SOME degree... But it's how Deep Root went ABOUT profiling people that is a bit "Big Brother" like I guess?

A FiveThirtyEight analysis that looked at where r/The_Donald members spend their time when they’re not talking politics might shed some light onto why Deep Root collected r/fatpeoplehate data. FiveThirtyEight found that, when Redditors weren’t commenting in political subreddits, they most often frequented r/fatpeoplehate.

It’s possible that Deep Root intended to use data from r/fatpeoplehate to build a more comprehensive profile of Trump voters. (Lundry declined to comment beyond his initial statement on any of information included in the Deep Root dataset.)

They ALSO seemed to "scrape" a bunch of ODD online communities as WELL. Check it OUT:

However, FiveThirtyEight’s investigation doesn’t account for Deep Root’s collection of data from mountain-biking and Spanish-speaking subreddits that weren’t as popular with r/The_Donald members—and data from these subreddits that are not so closely linked to Trump’s diehard supporters might be more useful for his campaign’s goal of pursuing swing voters.

Why BOTHER with those places? Well, here's ONE suggestion:

“My guess is that they were scraping Reddit posts to match to the voter file as another input for individual modeling,” a source familiar with campaign data operations told Gizmodo. “Given the number of random forums, my guess is they started with a list of accounts to scrape from, rather than scraping from all forums then trying to match from there (in which case you’d start with the political ones).”

There's MORE to this LONG article on Gizmodo here.

As I SAID...this isn't a "side" kind of thing. ALL political parties are doing this, but THIS past election we saw an EXPLOSION of AI-assisted social-engineering and PSYOP campaigns being run on Americans...

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 11:59 AM

originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: DanteGaland

WHO is influencing YOUR mind....?

It isn't the people that own the MSM.
But that doesn't mean that they aren't influencing other people's minds.

ALT-MEDIA is OWNED and pushed by the SAME people wanting to influence YOUR mind. When you "share" or "like" or SEE some "alt-media" on Facebook or ISN'T what it appears to be.

Everything espousing a political agenda is MAINSTREAM.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 12:41 PM
I have THEORIZED that part of the social engineering program is to make the masses INDIFFERENT to being profiled and targeted. People seem desensitized to their preferences being scraped up, and THEIR data used to influence what they buy, eat, drink, watch, laugh at, listen to, and THINK.

It's ALSO worth noting that it SEEMS to me that the big data companies dont appreciate it being discussed.


Good, captive farm animals NEVER realize their locked in a CAGE...

edit on 19-6-2017 by DanteGaland because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 12:47 PM
I submit that this is why you use multiple sources for your "news" and "opinion". Unless, of course, one enjoys having ones opinion given to you by others.

As for trying to influence opinion? When hasn't that been the case? Language, both written and spoken, are all about influencing others--for good or for ill, which largely, though not always, is in the eye of the beholder.

Which raises the question. What's actually new about this?

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 12:49 PM
a reply to: seagull

The fact they able to tie SPECIFIC people BEHIND screen names AND aliases...

THAT to me is NEW.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:16 PM
I'd like to ADD that the Reddit data is only a TINY fraction of the data leaked.

The Gizmodo article is titled:

GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters

It's now being CONFIRMED that this is one of the LARGEST voter data breaches in HISTORY. ZDNet is also picking up the story:

198 million Americans hit by "largest ever" voter records leak

A huge trove of voter data, including personal information and voter profiling data on what's thought to be every registered US voter dating back more than a decade, has been found on an exposed and unsecured server, ZDNet has learned.

It's believed to be the largest ever known exposure of voter information to date.

The various databases containing 198 million records on American voters from all political parties were found stored on an open Amazon S3 storage server owned by a Republican data analytics firm, Deep Root Analytics.

This is actually pretty SUBSTANTIAL!

This is 2/3 of the US population...LIKELY to include YOU

edit on 19-6-2017 by DanteGaland because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:22 PM
In the eyes of the control grid, and with opposites side of the same coin, in the information war there's a lot at stake to not to monitor sites as revealed.
With the leak in particular this is pretty damaging considering what the data could be used for. Remember that cheating website and what happened when that was leaked? Much bigger number of people affected here.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:30 PM

originally posted by: dreamingawake
In the eyes of the control grid, and with opposites side of the same coin, in the information war there's a lot at stake to not to monitor sites as revealed.
With the leak in particular this is pretty damaging considering what the data could be used for. Remember that cheating website and what happened when that was leaked? Much bigger number of people affected here.


There's a LOT of "uses" for this kind of data. When we browse our MEDIA online, are we really seeing what we want? Or are we being FED what "they" THINK we want?

Are we basing our opinions on our OWN experiences? On REAL, first-hand memories?

Could this data be used to SPAM or even commit FRAUD?

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:32 PM
a reply to: DanteGaland

That is true.

That's a new development. The wonders, or perhaps problems with, of the computer age. With paper, you actually had to physically have it in your grasp, and locks could stop, or at least slow, that. With computers? There's always someone who can get into it.

That's why I store nothing of importance on my computer, ever. Makes me paranoid, but would I be here if I weren't at least a little paranoid?

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:37 PM
Who is surprised though? After the whole ShareBlue debacle.
Reddit main subs are completely compromised with astroturfing and vote manipulation. It is nothing more than a msm news aggregator with comments.
edit on 19-6-2017 by Jonjonj because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 01:56 PM

originally posted by: Jonjonj
Who is surprised though? After the whole ShareBlue debacle.
Reddit main subs are completely compromised with astroturfing and vote manipulation. It is nothing more than a msm news aggregator with comments.

The more you DIG into this...the BIGGER this gets.

It's not JUST reddit and sites LIKE it. . . It's home addresses, phone numbers, NAMES and party affiliation. Combine THAT with Facebook profiles and forum aliases...

This opens up politically charged DOXING of people, and targeted FAKE NEWS at you.

Party affiliation and IF you voted ALONG with street/phone/email info on ALMOST 2/3 of us?

ALL stored on an unsecure Amazon S3 "cloud" server? YIKES!

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 07:29 PM
I like this op much better than the one I just posted... so I am bringing back up....

this should be a concern for everyone!!!

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 09:23 PM
Wow, this deserved way more attention, there's a lot to look into here. As well as people may be affected. I do agree with the comment on Dawnstar's thread, not enough partisan ship or at least that caters to the majority.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 10:15 PM
it's a nice big data base of most of the people in our country being sold off, hacked into, and just left on servers with no security. if someone wants to target people who are pro-abortion, hey it's all there, or pro-gun, or whatever probably...
and if it's a gov't who wants to...well, that won't be good at all..

and, considering the current atmosphere, this is rather alarming in the least!!
it should be getting alot more attention than it is...

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 10:36 PM
a reply to: DanteGaland

You think that's bad?

I can't wait to hear what you say when you find out what they're doing with all of the data here on ATS.

posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 08:05 AM
a reply to: ColdWisdom

well, I can say that there's been some stories here days before they hit the mainstream media, so I think we are doing the journalists jobs sometimes...

but there's a big white elephant in the room hiding behind the curtain, and I am just wondering when someone is gonna pick it up....

edit on 20-6-2017 by dawnstar because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 08:27 AM
Anything on a public message board is public. Anything public in the Internet is public.

If this bothers you, but the unprecedented abuse of Obama's spying on Americans doesn't -- then just keep drinking kool-aid and watching CNN.

posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 09:16 AM
a reply to: jjkenobi

do you know what my name is, or my address, or birthdate???

that information might be dispersed across the net, but there shouldn't be any way to connect that information with my ats posts... that I know of.
and, who knows maybe this database doesn't have crap about me, but consider what would happen if an antiabortion group got ahold of the information within that database and composed a list of pro choice people, their names, their addresses a posted it on the web for some crazy loons to look for those who are in their area? or maybe the want a list of all the muslims in the area, or christians, pro-trump/proclinton.... or just liberals.... I've read far too many posts on these forums in the past week expressing the desire to hunt, lock up, ect... liberals?? here we are worrying about guns and the political rhetoric, but databases such as this seems to be one great tool in the hands of the crazies of the world as well as any authoritarian gov't that might come to power in the near future...

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