22:52 GMT30 May 2020
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    Speaking in King’s College London to former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, Clinton fulminated: “When I heard about all these people, particularly women, who weren’t going to run again, and they attributed it to the threats they’re going to face, that’s not only a threat to individuals, that’s a threat to democracies.

    Hillary Clinton has said she takes “very seriously” how many female MPs had stood down in the UK allegedly due to online threats, stating  “if people are intimidated out of running for office in a democracy because of these hate-mongers on the left or the right…that is the path [to] authoritarianism, that is the path [to] fascism”.

    Of course, Clinton has her own history of threatening democracy and deterring individuals from seeking high office – as has been extensively documented in the years since the 2016 US Presidential election, she and her backers sought to ‘rig’ the Democratic party primaries in her favour using “unethical” means.

    Among other things, former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Donna Brazile has exposed how the then-cash-starved DNC signed a joint fundraising agreement with the Clinton campaign in August 2015, four months after Clinton launched her candidacy, which Brazile “compromised the party's integrity". Current Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has called the revelations "a real problem" for the Democrats, and believes the party should be “held accountable” for its complicity in the connivance.

    In any event, Clinton also expressed concerns about the misuse of technology and its impact on politics, saying she was particularly concerned about Facebook’s refusal to regulate political advertising on its platform, which she said meant the social media monopole “will take money for and run advertisements that are blatantly false”.

    “It’s a deeply irresponsible decision and one that will make it increasingly difficult for people running for office to persuade voters to vote for them based on accurate information as opposed to falsified information. Technology is outpacing our ability to keep up with it, to understand what is real and what isn’t, and I think this is not yet being addressed by our government, your government or any institution. We try to have at least a somewhat level playing field, at least for elections in our democracies, and in the absence of that, all bets are off, and it’s going to be like the old wild west,” she said.

    The twice-failed Presidential candidate may well have been referring to Cambridge Analytica, the controversial former political campaigning firm that harvested Facebook data to target voters and was employed by Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, which some – most notably Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr – have claimed was the sole reason for Clinton’s 2016 loss. Whatever the truth of the matter, Clinton’s comments are somewhat ironic, given her campaign made much of how it was leveraging big data to microtarget US citizens in the lead up to that election, and had hired 60 mathematicians and statisticians to create a software program named ‘Ada’ for the purpose.

    In all, 70 percent of Clinton’s campaign budget was spent on television ads, and Ada determined how virtually every dollar was spent – although the approach was ultimately doomed, as the program took for granted that poorer voters would support the Democrats, or indeed not vote, instead focusing on attracting minority voters and liberal elites to back Clinton. It was this technological oversight that allowed Sanders to achieve victory in several primaries.

    Clinton also commented on Brexit, stating it “a symptom of some of the very real problems and disagreements our democracies have”, and suggesting the UK was “about as divided” as the US. The former Secretary of State – who celebrated the brutal, US-backed overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with the words “we came, we saw, he died” - also lambasted Washington for the role it was currently “refusing to play in the world right now”, stating Trump’s foreign policy approach was making the world “more unpredictable and less safe”.

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    Tags:
    Hillary Clinton, Clinton legacy, Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Cambridge Analytica, Cambridge Analytica
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