North Carolina Voters Ensnared in Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Mar 22, 2018

Considered the most expensive senate race of its time, Cambridge Analytica boasts of helping Thom Tillis win. Their use of direct mail is nothing new, but their misuse of Facebook data has put Tillis and others under the microscope.
Credit Mike Oniffrey / UNC-TV

Facebook’s stock plummeted at the news that 50 million user accounts had been breached and used to create profiles of prospective voters. Since then the company behind the breach, Cambridge Analytica, has been suspended from Facebook. The damage in North Carolina has already been done.

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is a poster child for Cambridge Analytica. He paid them $30,000 during his 2014 senate campaign against former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagen. On its website, Cambridge Analytica boasts that their research identified Hagen’s weakness and gave Tillis the tools to exploit it. Tillis is not the only North Carolina connection to the scandal.  WUNC Capital Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii joins host Frank Stasio to unpeel the layers of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Plus, political scientist Michael Bitzer, a professor at Catawba College, provides insight about the history of campaigns, and how citizens "private” information has been used in elections for decades.