The anti-abortion campaign is employing the same tactics that were used in Trump’s election campaign.
They have hired Thomas Borwick, a former employee of Cambridge Analytics, to run their digital campaign.
Cambridge Analytics is currently in facing controversy for data harvesting the profiles of millions of people who logged on to their apps via Facebook. It is owned by Robert Mercer, a right-wing billionaire who backed Trump. Its Vice President at one stage was Steve Bannot, the former adviser to Trump.
After working for Cambridge Analytics, Borwick went on to start up his own campaign, Kanto. However The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is looking into how another of Borwick’s companies, Voter Consultancy, analysed personal information to target people.
His new firm, Kanto, has been taken on to help to run a digital campaign for the anti-choice campaign in Ireland.
Borwick was a member of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the British Tory Party and his mother was former an MP for that party.
His right wing outlook leads him to place a premium on manipulating voters through analysing their profiles on social media. Ads can be targeted at particular voters and as there is no transparency there is ample scope for lying.
In Ireland there is a culture of light touch regulation on social media companies. There are no transparency obligations to disclose what ads are or have been used, who they are targeting, who is paying, and how many views or interactions those ads are receiving.
People Before Profit, however, is determined to expose the social media manipulators.