Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself


From our original AntiNote on 22 January 2017:

“On the occasion of this article’s authorized wider release in English, should that come to pass, we will consider removing this post if we are asked nicely.”

We are honorable pirates. Out of respect for the reporters and researchers who worked so hard to bring this vital information to you (and who may yet face unpleasant consequences for having done so), we have removed our translation of their article even though VICE didn’t exactly ask nicely (they called our work “rough”). Sniff.

Glad to have had you stop through our little hideout. Hope to see you again.

Here is the fancy version:

Love and Rage,
Antidote Writers Collective
28 January 2017



73 thoughts on “Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

  1. Reblogged this on Ali's Journal and commented:
    this tells us that all our fears had come true even back in 2012 ! .. today they are collecting and using the activity of “every” person online doing anything and everything and using it to predict or mold or re-route and ultimate ‘control’ his life !

  2. Reblogged this on marmalade season and commented:
    Revolting. Trump voters, you were duped. Consider this thought, contained within the article: “Trump’s conspicuous contradictions and his oft-criticized habit of staking out multiple positions on a single issue result in a gigantic number of resulting messaging options…” Know what that means? He says whatever you’ll respond to. Warn France. Warn Germany. And for goodness’ sake, stop giving these jerks so much information about yourself.

    • It’s too late – they already have your information.
      The only way to respond is do what they did. Targeted ads. Dynamic messaging. Fight fire with fire.

      • If by “your information,” you mean me, personally, I’m not so sure. I don’t have a personal Facebook page, don’t have a smartphone, rarely use cards.
        If by “your information,” you are using me to represent the average reader, then sure. I wouldn’t consider myself average in this way, but it’s true that most people have already given up the information.
        I’m not a fight fire with fire person, really, so doubt I’d find myself taking that view, for better or for worse. I expect going on, though, political candidates will do as you have said.

      • Although, of course, I’ve done the work for them simply by having a blog. Not sure they’d have noticed that, though, ha ha. There’s a joke about being a failure as a blogger in there somewhere…

    • And, currently, there is little way to know if we’re being duped too. How much of the barrage of negative coverage of his actions are attributable to this methodology? How much of the way reports are framed and specifically targeted are due to this? Do we know the details of every EO he’s signed so far? Do we know the details of his plans, or are we informed by the articles that we see in our social media and other feed-style outlets? We’re afraid of him, just like Trump supporters were afraid of Hillary. So we’re susceptible, and we need to keep that in mind. Emotionally driven political instability is a powerful strategy for control.

      • I have a couple thoughts about this:

        We are not afraid of him “just like Trump supporters were afraid of Hillary,” and here is why: neither of these people exist only in the present. We have their personal histories to consider. It’s not like no one ever looked into Hillary’s alleged wrongdoings. They did, vigorously and at length. She was cleared. There was a percentage of the populace that was unable to cope with that fact, and those people kept perpetuating the stories as if they were current scandal. They were not.

        That is very, very different from the situation we have with Trump. Let’s say, for sake of argument, that we don’t have enough facts about Trump’s EOs or plans. Let’s say that we only have some facts. Considering his history, why are those facts not enough? He has a lifetime history of being just the kind of person who would sign EOs just like the ones he is now signing. How many more details do we need? How many data points are we supposed to wait for before we put our collective foot down? And how in the world have there not been enough already?

        Even though you didn’t use these words, what I’m hearing from your comment is (1) the media may be misrepresenting him and (2) give him a chance. I hear “give him a chance” because if we wait for more and more data points, that is, by necessity, giving him a chance.

        As for (1), he is not only represented by the media, he is represented by himself, continuously and at every opportunity, on Twitter and on the television. This is Trump. He has told us who he is. As for (2), no thanks.

        We don’t need to have “emotionally driven political instability.” Feeling an emotion does not mean the same thing as being emotionally driven. Feeling an emotion (or even two) about a situation that is terrible does not mean the choice to end that situation is emotionally driven. And, why assume the removal of an unfit president would create instability? I would argue leaving an unfit president in office creates instability. We have procedures in place if we have a president who is unable to do the job so that it’s not a free-for-all when something like this happens. Let’s use them.

      • Here’s the dilemma: It’s impossible way to generate multiple contradictory actions to fit to the multiple contradictory promises. No, you can’t all have the biggest piece of cake, because now we’re dealing with Reality, not Wishful Thinking. And this is how cakes get utterly destroyed.
        Where is Cambridge Analytics, now that they have done their job and been paid? As always, “Follow the money.” Seems clear to me: No one is paying to have targeted positive/negative messages about how the pres. tRump is performing, therefore Reality has a chance to assert itself, at least for now. Kellyanne Conway, as skillful a duck as she is (reality rolls off her back like water off a duck), is not as powerful without all the backup, targeted, subliminal messaging going on.
        We are stuck with a tone-deaf egomaniac who listens only to syncophants, who do not even know the most basic things, like how a president should behave with our own CIA or with foreign leaders.

      • The media is not using this methodology. They would be much more persuasive if they were. For a lawyer, which I am, the executive orders are simple to understand. Especially the immigration one, since I’m an immigration lawyer. They are all that we fear and more. For a layperson, they are slightly more difficult, but understanding them is certainly possible if one makes the effort. If you don’t trust an article in a relatively respected publication, take the time to go to its sources, and if necessary, the sources of its sources. Check other articles on the same issues in publications with different viewpoints. I’ve done this over and over again and I have a feeling for the specific biases of each publication and where it might be, in order of most concerning to least: outright lying vs irresponsibly presenting unknowns vs leaving out details that don’t fit within their narrative vs choosing a position that they don’t have to take for a nebulous purpose vs only choosing to cover particular things to the omission of other things (hint: every publication does this last thing and it can certainly result in suppressing an important story like this one).

  3. Reblogged this on alexpavlotski and commented:
    Wow. Micro-marketing is probably where all researchers like myself are likely to go in the future. Who could have thought, our social network is the key to selling out our deepest secrets, and our confirmation bias means that we’ll buy an untrue story… if it’s pitched at exactly the right level.

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Interesting article on the role of big data and psychological profiling in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

  5. Don’t you guys think that this is a natural (virtually unstoppable, only delayable) direction of evolution? It is impossible to cover your tracks in real life, also in virtual and arguably shouldn’t even be desirable by definition. Market saturation up ahead. How will the game change when everyone is using?

  6. Isn’t this just mega-marketing and its natural consequence. If Americans were still supporting corner stores and small local businesses-in person-we would be encouraged toward individual thought. We would bounce ideas back and forth. With mega-marketing, individual thought and community banter are eliminated. The mega marketer is the only voice.

  7. Reblogged this on Chimaeral and commented:
    My reblog this week (and indeed my only post – things have been busy and I am quite worn down at the moment) is very, very interesting.

    I tried the prediction mentioned in the article, and while it could correctly predict a lot of things it did fail on some points by a lot.

    But read, ponder, and see for yourself where the world may be headed:

  8. I have been writing about Cambridge Analytica for over a year. They are one terrifying outfit.

  9. Reblogged this on Transports of Delight (and other things) and commented:
    I always knew that social media and the simple use of store cards could be problematic in some way, but mainly personally, or with a bit of targeted marketing for new products or services.

    This article however, blows that right out of the water. We are indeed being monitored, tracked and targeted by organisations, particularly political ones, to get what they want. Trump, Brexit and others to follow – they will all use this and politics will be simply about who clicks ‘like’ on Facebook and what they post. Not much really about actual issues that need fixing, just who ever has the deepest pockets and wants ‘the power’.

    Ordinary people don’t really have any response to this, other than to stop using social media and store cards and smart phones all together! Thats a big step!

    Watch out of Cambridge Analytica – and not in a good way.

  10. Very enlightening article, many thanks for the translation to English. I am in the process of attempting a French translation of this article, will start on monday, any help greatly appreciated. Reply here if you want to get involved.

  11. So, get everyone you know to fill in as many surveys as possible with erroneous information, like things they don’t and generally screw the data-collection process. Get that message out and the whole edifice will crumble.

  12. Where can I get your original version of this article? The one you now link to doesn’t feel as authentic and reads more like clickbait.

    • ❤ ❤ ❤
      This made our day, thank you.
      Taking our version out of public circulation reduces the chance that the report's detractors (Cambridge Analytica themselves among them) can use small alleged inconsistencies to attack its authors.
      That said, message us on our Facebook page if you'd like a private copy. Thank you for your kind words. Long live insurgent media!

      • While the facts seems pretty much the same after skimming theirs, and I’m not really sure what the clickbaitiness would consist of, I must say yours was richer, more nuanced. It felt much better to read, activated more thought and was thereby more memorable.
        Although I personally have no use for it, I want to point out that recommending people to use Facebook to request it seems very hypocritical.

  13. When I read your story on 1/22, I made a PDF of it thinking it would probably disappear at some point. Now I’m reading your translation side by side with the Vice translation. Yours is better, much better.

    Why change “he saw that the bomb had gone off: defying the predictions of nearly every leading statistician” to “he saw that the bombshell had exploded: contrary to forecasts by all leading statisticians”? Your translation has so much more punch! Who says “the bombshell had exploded”? No one says that. They say “he dropped a bombshell.” Yours is a more powerful metaphor, likening a sophisticated system of innovative political marketing to a bomb, not a bombshell. Just a dumb change.

    Or: “The meditative Kosinski, the well‐groomed Nix, the widely grinning Trump—one made this digital upheaval possible, one carried it out, and one rode it to power.” They changed this to: “Of these three players—reflective Kosinski, carefully groomed Nix and grinning Trump—one of them enabled the digital revolution, one of them executed it and one of them benefited from it.” Wow. Such boring word choice. One of them benefited from it. Seriously, why didn’t Vice just pay you for your translation?! Oh, well, maybe they could pay their own writers less, yes, that seems obvious.

    And this: “It is therefore not at all the case, as is so often claimed, that statisticians lost this election because their polls were so faulty. The opposite is true: statisticians won this election. It was just certain statisticians, the ones using the new method. It is a cruel irony of history that Trump, who often grumbled about scientific research, used such a highly scientific approach in his campaign.” This became: “Many voices have claimed that the statisticians lost the election because their predictions were so off the mark. But what if statisticians in fact helped win the election—but only those who were using the new method? It is an irony of history that Trump, who often grumbled about scientific research, used a highly scientific approach in his campaign.” What if? What if? Your version is so much more decisive on the matter. “The opposite is true,” not, “What if.” And it’s not just “an irony of history,” it’s “a cruel irony of history!” Vice botched it all up. You guys are awesome. Your version was so much better. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read yours first.

  14. Thank you for posting the “rough” translation. I believe it is very important to get this information out and well known. Your translation may be the reason that Vice even noticed the German article.

  15. I commend your honorable piracy….. but just FYI, from a language nerd’s standpoint completely divorced from politics… your translation was better. “I just showed that the bomb was there” has a WAY sweeter ring to it than “I only showed that it exists.” Your title was stuck in my head giving me shivers as I mused on this days later. Plus, “the same reaction Hochdeutsch elicits in some Swiss” –> your “the same mix of resentment and awe” was spot on; the Vice translation says Nix’s accent “puts Americans on edge just like Hochdeutsch does the Swiss”….. WTF? hahaha.

    Come on Vice, play nicely – just say politely that it’s your property and it’s not appropriate for someone else to post it. No need for catty extra twists of the dagger like “and your translation is rough!” Because it wasn’t. It was better.

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