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Friday 5 June 2020

Rahul used Cambridge Analytica for Gujarat campaign, alleges BJP

I want to assert this with all responsibility that in the entire social media campaign of Rahul Gandhi, there was full involvement of Cambridge Analytica, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

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New Delhi: Amid controversy over connections of political parties with the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, the BJP on Thursday stepped up attack against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for allegedly enlisting the services of the controversial company for last year’s Gujarat Assembly polls.

“I want to assert this with all responsibility that in the entire social media campaign of Rahul Gandhi, there was full involvement of Cambridge Analytica,” BJP leader and Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

“Some matters are to be investigated. Websites can make any claim. But all these should not divert the attention at all from the Congress party’s conspicuous silence for last so many months since reports published in media that the party was using the services of the firm,” Prasad said.

“The way social media campaign (of Congress party) went on in Gujarat, all of us were campaigning there. It had the imprint of the Cambridge Analytica,” he said while denying that the BJP has ever utilised the services of the company.

“I have confirmed from my party head office, we have never taken their service,” Prasad said.

Prasad maintained that media reports in country’s leading newspapers had claimed way back in October 2017 that the Congress party had enlisted the services of Cambridge Analytica but the Congress had maintained silence.

“Now since they are caught, they are denying,” Prasad accused, referring to the Congress rebuttal on Wednesday that the principal opposition party has no links with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook failed to crack down on Cambridge Analytica’s data mining. It specializes in what’s called “psychographic” profiling, meaning it uses data collected online to create personality profiles for voters. It then takes that information and targets individuals with specifically tailored political advertising.

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