Correction: Sordid genealogies: a conjectural history of Cambridge Analytica's eugenic roots
Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
The first two paragraphs in the section 'The ocean of computational politics' previously read: The data collected, and subsequently "weaponized" by Cambridge Analytica, was sourced through the misappropriation of third party apps, such as "MyPersonality", developed by Michael Kosinski and David Stillwell, two psychologists working at Cambridge University's Psychometric Center. 2 Posted on Facebook, these apps lured millions of users down the rabbit hole of clickbait personality tests grounded
... the Five Factors of Personality theory, or OCEAN, an acronym for the personality attributes these tests are said to identify: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. These traits, according to personality psychologists, provide the "objective" foundations for the study of human behavior. As one of the psychologist most closely associated with the Big Five, Paul Costa proclaimed: they "may be a human universal" (Quoted in Murphy Paul, 2004, p. 191). Objective or not, seen through the lens of digital data, they are said to be powerful predictive tools. Kosinski's team, for example, compared the results gleaned from these apps with all sorts of other online data: "likes" and "shares", and with information found in Facebook profiles and on-line postings. 3 Cross-referenced and correlated, this data enabled researchers to construct algorithms that could infer personality traits from online activity alone, that is, without responses from on-line personality tests. Psychological profiles could thus be extrapolated by reference to online user behavior. This increased the data sample exponentially, allowing data scientists to track digital footprints back to "personality traits" that could then be hunted down and exploited in the "wild".