Most of us have likely heard of psychographic profiling and micro targeting by now, whereby individuals are psychoanalyzed in mass and then categorized into various psychographic profiles.
The data developed is used to target individuals with specific storylines—ones that they will be likely to believe. Building on these narratives, attitudes and/or beliefs are generated that are useful to those financing the persuasion.
This method proved very useful during the successful election campaign of Donald Trump. The story has been reported in the Guardian and documented in the video The Great Hack. Two whistle blowers, Christopher Wylie and Brittany Kiser, have told of the development of Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool, built by hacking Facebook user profiles while working for Cambridge Analytica.
Now that these methods are well established, they are being widely applied. Sophisticated data analytics are now an integral part of politics and are here to stay. The flap about Cambridge Analytica has blown over, and it is not much discussed anymore. Behind the scenes, these methods are now well developed and available to anyone who wishes to influence public opinion.