Trump Campaign Micro-Targetted US Voters Using Facebook Data

Karen Madej by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Do you recall the scandal of the 87 million Facebook users whose data was harvested, we found out later, for Cambridge Analytica?

The company went on to form profiles to target specific groups of voters during Trump's election campaign.

When he won, he created a division similar to the one in the UK. A division fuelled by lies, greed, and incompetence. In my humble opinion.

Politicians use the best, simplest words to win the hearts, minds, and votes of unhappy people.

These days, and certainly in 2016, search engine optimisation was essential to the success of their campaigns.

Politicians would like their audience to vote for them and what they say they will do to make the country a better place.

How important is the meaning of a political slogan?

Here, you’ll find some examples of slogans used in the 1930s and 40s compared to the use of slogans in the 2000s and 2010s.

Political slogans are often double-edged swords used to promise one thing but mean another.

Work Will Set You Free

You could discern the Germans appreciated the meaning far more than the Jewish people.

Everyone gets what they deserve

  • Jedem das Seine — Literally, the slogan means “to each his own” and was the German translation of Prussia’s motto which read in Latin: “suum cuique”. The meaning at that time was “justice for everyone”

Used 1937–45 by Nazi Germany over the main gate at Buchenwald concentration camp it figuratively meant “everyone gets what he deserves”.

I am horrified so many people bought into the message. Despicable acts which should never be repeated.

I am not directly comparing the Trump or the Johnson management of their respective countries to the Nazis. However, I am unable to ignore some similarities in their approach and the treatment of vulnerable and elderly people.

Don't you wonder how many citizens were too scared and turned a blind eye to the fate of their neighbours and friends?

Just think about the blasé manner with which both Johnson and Trump handled the start of the coronavirus pandemic and then continued to ignore the advice of WHO and medical experts.

How many German citizens attempted to save lives?

Were they ever told the truth by their leader or just what he wanted them to believe?

How many charities and other well-meaning people have been for years and are now fighting to save lives devastated by the devices implemented by our governments to crush the poor and vulnerable?

Get Brexit Done

Slogans can be based on words that the majority choose to believe mean what they want.

  • Take Back Control - thought to have been coined by Dominic Cummings for Vote Leave in the UK referendum
  • Get Brexit Done. Unleash Britain’s Potential — Conservative Party slogan for the 2019 UK General Election

Get Brexit Done: What It Really Means

At 4:37 the voiceover says that the problem is that the withdrawal agreement Johnson is trying to push through says almost nothing about the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Meaning there’s no new reality for business to transition to.

Later, at 6:30 we hear getting deals done will be slow going and Corbyn brings up a trade deal with the USA that will take up to 7 years, queues of traffic on the M20, and job losses on a huge scale. Obama floated that it may take 10 years.

The video went live the day before the general election in 2019.

The 94,000 views received were not enough to stop the Johnson juggernaut.

Now we know the lorry queues from ports prediction has come to fruition. President Biden's priority is the survival of his people over any trade deal the Conservatives might hope to make with him.

Boris Johnson was elected by a majority landslide. You could say that what works for a politician also works for the people who believe their lies.


“You look at what’s going on,”

Said nothing specific yet conveyed shared assumptions that his audiences already knew what he was talking about.

Trump’s speeches seem designed to assert, as forcefully as possible, the precepts with which his audience already agrees, while leaving certain assertions vague to allow his audience to fill in the blanks.” ~Justin Quam, Marianna Ryshina-Pankova

Cambridge Analytica

Trump also used the same Big Data company that the Tories used to influence Brexit.

“Cambridge Analytica — nothing to do with Cambridge University — in targeting a variety of messages to a variety of constituencies of interest, thus corralling them into a unified vote.” ~AC Grayling

Brittany Kaiser, former Cambridge Analytica director: “I voted for Bernie” video.

The Guardian newspaper reported on a leaked blueprint which Cambridge Analytica claimed to have won the election for Trump by making use of SEO technology on Google.

Four-word slogans

Something we could sorely use today in the UK and the US now has in President Biden and VP Kamal Harris.

Maybe right now both the UK and the US need these ones

  • We demand better — Political Slogan used by the Liberal Democratic Party UK in 2019

This slogan was pretty much ignored by the UK. Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat Leader at the time, lost her seat in the 2019 General Election. If she’d used the headline analyser to check the score, she might have chosen some more and better words.

  • Yes We Can — Barack Obama, 2008 US Presidential campaign

These three small words had an impact big enough to win him the Presidential Election. With President Obama, though, he had a lot more to offer by way of altruism and charisma than Trump or Johnson ever had or ever will.

  • Build Back Better — was Joe Biden's slogan for his Jobs and Economy Recovery Plan for Working Families Election campaign in 2020

Build Back Better was also used in October 2020 by Johnson in a party political broadcast. Personally, I don't believe him and his party capable of delivering anything.

Not quite last and not least, “Revolution is not a dinner party”

In conclusion, there is a deviousness of meaning between Hitler’s and Johnson’s and Trump’s use of not so simple slogans, and the disaster which is happening in the UK right now and which has already happened in the US.

If I were a politician, I would avoid using slogans in a duplicitous way. Of course, politicians want to entice people to vote for them and then not give them what they expected.

Let us pray that political narcissists and fascists are never allowed to cause such atrocities again. Yes, I am speaking about the loss of lives due to mismanaging the pandemic in both the US and UK by Trump and Johnson.

If they do get a foothold, we should all worry we will have to heed this message.

  • “Revolution is not a dinner party — A phrase by Mao Zedong, extracted from his full statement that “Revolution is not a dinner party, nor an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly, and modestly. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Perhaps we might all benefit from a revolution to overthrow Machiavellian politicians and their villainous ways. Push us far enough and who knows what may happen.

The United States of America now has President Biden who will, I believe, restore the US to its former position in the world. Leading the way to human compassion for people and the environment and being stronger and respected for it.

So, how important is a political slogan?

A slogan is a tool used by politicians to grab voters' attention. Good ones work at the basest level of intelligence which then fuels fantasies of being better off financially.

Just over half of the US and the UK respectively bought into simple, catchy slogans and fell for clever marketing techniques. I'd say the right slogans are essential tools to win over voters.

Facebook was fined $5 billion dollars for allowing the harvest of private data from its users.

Cambridge Analytica may not have used people's private data to influence voters in the 2016 June 23rd UK Referendum. However, according to Reuters, it did influence voters in the November 8th US General Election.

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.


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