Starting in August 2019, you may have seen an ad in your Facebook news feed asking you to take a news quiz. If you didn’t know who controlled the Senate, for instance—about 30% of people didn’t—you would be classified as most persuadable, and you would become part of one of the largest and most sophisticated experiments of its kind.
Ignorant people targeted by Democrats? You don't say!
On the internet, we’re subject to hidden A/B tests all the time, but this one was also part of a political weapon: a multimillion-dollar tool kit built by a team of Facebook vets, data nerds, and computational social scientists determined to defeat Donald Trump. The goal is to use microtargeted ads, follow-up surveys, and an unparalleled data set to win over key electorates in a few critical states: the low-education voters who unexpectedly came out in droves or stayed home last time, the voters who could decide another monumental election.
I knew that Democrats were low-information voters, but they just flat out admitted that fact.