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Cambridge Analytica and the end of elections

Channel 4

In the early hours of January 1, 2020, a Twitter handle, @hindsightfiles, allegedly run by Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, shared confidential documentation regarding the involvement of SCL Group, a now-defunct British firm, in numerous elections around the world.

The significance of these documents seems to be lost at a time when "World War III" was a top trending topic on social media. But parsing through the documents and pairing them with broader contextual developments, it is clear that foreign interference in politics, and especially elections, are entering a new level.

How much of a threat is Brexit to the unity of the UK?

Al Jazeera English

Boris Johnson's been touring the Union as a 'no deal' exit looms, trying to reassure those worried about the divorce with the EU. Boris Johnson started the tour in Edinburgh. He was met with jeers and boos from protesters, which forced him to leave by the back door of Bute House, the official residence of Scotland's First Minister. Inside, his host Nicola Sturgeon expressed her discontent with Johnson's Brexit plans. She spoke about a 'catastrophic, almost inevitable path to a no-deal Brexit'. Then it was on to Wales, where Johnson was seeking support for his Brexit plans from the country's agricultural sector. The Welsh farmers' union has warned him leaving the EU without a deal would cause 'civil unrest' in rural areas. Many British farmers rely heavily on trade with Europe, and a no-deal scenario could be costly for their business. And in Northern Ireland, his last stop, Boris Johnson didn't receive the warmest welcome either. There's broad consensus that leaving the EU without a deal could be dramatic, because of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which will become a border into Europe. If no deal happens, the Sinn Fein party says the government must call a referendum on Irish Unity immediately. However, Northern Ireland's been without a sitting government since 2017. So has Boris Johnson convinced the skeptics, or is the Kingdom fracturing even further?

Boris Johnson: Playing the clown for the media circus?

Al Jazeera English

On The Listening Post this week: Britain's media are front and centre in Boris Johnson's bid to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister. Plus, nostalgia in Iranian diaspora media. Boris Johnson and the UK media Boris Johnson, the odds-on favourite to become Britain's next prime minister, had one distinct advantage going into the race to succeed Theresa May: name recognition. When the UK media drop that name - Boris - Britons know who exactly they're talking about. As it happens, the news business is where Johnson got his start. As a correspondent in Brussels in the 1990s, Johnson produced a slew of Eurosceptic stories that readers found amusing; stories that could well have sowed seeds in peoples' minds for an eventual Brexit. Fast forward 30 odd years, and there he was as a key asset on the Leave side in the 2016 referendum campaign saying the same kinds of things about the EU as a politician that he once did as a journalist. These days, the British media finally seem to have clued in to the fact that entertainment value isn't everything: that Boris Johnson falls dangerously short of the qualifications for the job. But he already has one foot in the door of 10 Downing Street, so this media awakening is looking like too little, too late.

Facebook's role in Brexit - and the threat to democracy

TED Carole Cadwalladr

In an unmissable talk, journalist Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past? digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

Fears over EU citizens forced to leave UK after Brexit

Al Jazeera English

European politicians are demanding an emergency meeting with the British government over renewed fears that EU citizens will be forced to leave the UK after Brexit. It follows the wrongful deportation from the UK of members of the so-called Windrush Generation - British citizens whose parents emigrated from the Commonwealth after the Second World War. Europeans living in the UK fear the same could happen to them.

Does Brexit mean chaos for the UK?

Al Jazeera English

Brexit is less than six months away, and the British government is no closer to agreeing on an exit deal with the EU, despite another round of negotiations.

A no-deal Brexit could result in food and medicine shortages in the UK, warned the National Farmers' Union and the National Health Service trust.

Are some of these stories exaggerated? Or was the Brexit vote in 2016 a total mistake? And if public opinion is changing, should there be a second referendum?

Attack on Democracy [ZDF zoom 21.03.2019]


The UK Electoral Commission is convinced: There is evidence that big parts of the funding of the pro-Brexit referendum campaign comes from dubious sources. The focus is on British businessman Arron Banks, a string-puller and close friend of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Almost 9 million pounds in donations are said to have originated from his offshore accounts.

3Blokes: 1000 DAYS OF BREXIT

Graham Hughes, Adam Lee, Paul Somerville

Meaningful votes, Article 50 Extension, EU Elections, The Frauderendum, TIG, The ERG, Dictator May, Useless Corbyn, yet ANOTHER fine for Vote Leave... seriously, what the hell is going on?!!?!?!

Must-see: Malware For Humans

J.J. Patrick

Malware For Humans is a conversation-led, independent documentary about fake news, big data, electoral interference, and hybrid warfare.

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