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Mindf*ck

Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For the first time, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower tells the inside story of the data mining and psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, connecting Facebook, WikiLeaks, Russian intelligence, and international hackers.

Mindf*ck goes deep inside Cambridge Analytica’s "American operations", which were driven by Steve Bannon’s vision to remake America and fueled by mysterious billionaire Robert Mercer’s money, as it weaponized and wielded the massive store of data it had harvested on individuals - in excess of 87 million - to disunite the United States and set Americans against each other. Bannon had long sensed that deep within America’s soul lurked an explosive tension. Cambridge Analytica had the data to prove it, and in 2016 Bannon had a presidential campaign to use as his proving ground.

Christopher Wylie might have seemed an unlikely figure to be at the center of such an operation. Canadian and liberal in his politics, he was only 24 when he got a job with a London firm that worked with the UK Ministry of Defense and was charged putatively with helping to build a team of data scientists to create new tools to identify and combat radical extremism online. In short order, those same military tools were turned to political purposes, and Cambridge Analytica was born.

Wylie’s decision to become a whistleblower prompted the largest data-crime investigation in history. His story is both exposé and dire warning about a sudden problem born of very new and powerful capabilities. It has not only laid bare the profound vulnerabilities - and profound carelessness - in the enormous companies that drive the attention economy, it has also exposed the profound vulnerabilities of democracy itself. What happened in 2016 was just a trial run. Ruthless actors are coming for your data, and they want to control what you think.

©2019 Christopher Wylie (P)2019 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well documented Account of Cambridge Analytica’s Tactics

This insider tale of Bannon’s, Mercer’s and other Big Money interests’ perversion of a powerful technology to destroy the integrity of the US 2016 and British Brexit elections as well as other elections around the world. But much more importantly, a well-reasoned warning to the World of the power of Technologies like Facebook and Data Mining to tear apart any semblance of Privacy Rights and ultimately of Human Free Will.

Brilliantly Scary.

If you don’t read the whole book, read Chapter 12! It will change your perception of the role of Social Media in your life, now and in the VERY Near Future!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Eye opening. Worth the time & money.

Found this book surprising, thoughtful, unable to put it down, paired with some real shock & fear. I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard of Wyle via news & I thought I understood the Cambridge Analytica effect but wasn’t excited. Whether due to poor TV news coverage or my lack of aptitude, I found that I knew & understood very little. Really shed light on to 2016 election, Brexit, how this hidden hand will effect all elections going forward, AND threatens democracy & what we call personal choice. Likely in my 3 best books of the year list.

FYI the book has no cuss words nor within but by the end the title is spot on.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Frightening and Thorough

Frightening and thorough explanation of full scale plot to thwart democracy. We should all understand how the current game of swaying public opinion is being played and this story makes it painfully clear that our individual rights are not a top priority for many who hold great power.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This information needs to be distributed.

You have to remember when listening to this book the story is told from a single point of view. This situation and topic is far more complicated than Christopher Wylie gets into, but it's a good start. My only criticism is that the political rhetoric is a bit off-putting. At times Christopher sounds like a guy that kicked the ball in his own goal, and won the game for the opposite team. He's complaining about manipulation through "team" dynamics, yet he is doing that himself. We need to hire the best person for the job, no matter what team they play for.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant & SCARY..

Finished in one day.. RIVETING. TERRIFYING. Told by a man authentically apologetic for his sins.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An important read

The book was great and to the point. It felt more like a sci-fi novel about a dystopian world, but then I kept realizing it is our reality... An important read would be an understatement.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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MUST READ

This is the Ida Tarbell book of our time. We’ll be looking back and people will be wondering how we did not see and stop this.
Read and PASS IT ON.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sobering and important

I am not an engineer or even particularly tech-savvy. I am however acutely sensitive to violations of my privacy. We must get a grip on what is at stake and what we can do about it or the very concept of privacy will become a relic.

The only negative comment I have to offer is that it's hard to keep track of who is who when listening. I often listen while on walks and the sheer volume of names of people involved sometimes made my head swim. I need to figure out how to digitally fold pages.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A guide for how we got here and what to do about it

Fantastic storytelling, and terrifying because this actually is happening. A shocking lesson for the world to heed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Eye opening

The story behind the story of TWO national nightmares: Brexit and trump. Anyone who keeps using Facebook after this colludes in their own political manipulation. DELETE
FB!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful