Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Cambridge Analytica Calls It Quits

May 2, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Calls It Quits

Cambridge Analytica and its British parent company SCL Elections are shutting down, according to a company statement. Cambridge Analytica is under attack for the shabby Facebook data mining operation and FB-based targeted advertising effort it mounted on behalf of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, and SCL has been under pressure for its pro-Brexit disinformation campaign, and is the subject of investigations by UK prosecutors and Parliamentary committees.

Cambridge Analytica was set up by UK-based SCL to advance the fiction that foreign citizens weren’t engaged in US federal election work, and was funded by the conservative Mercer family. Steve Bannon, who claimed he thought up the company’s name, was a Vice President. In addition to its UK operations, SCL worked on election campaigns in a number of other countries.

Ironically, the firm blames “the siege of media coverage,” fake news and negative publicity, for driving it out of business.


“Cambridge Analytica closing operations in wake of scandals,” Khorri Atkinson, Axios

“Cambridge Analytica is shutting down,” Emily Stewart, Vox

“Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy After Misuse of Facebook Data,” By Nicholas Confessore and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times

“Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data-harvest firm to shut,” BBC News

“Cambridge Analytica and parent SCL Elections shutting down,” Reuters

“Cambridge Analytica Parent Company Ceases Operations,” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire


“Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata,”  Shaun Nichols, The Register

“The Cambridge Analytica power players set up a mysterious new data firm — and they could use it for a ‘Blackwater-style’ rebrand,” Shona Ghosh and Jake Kanter, Business Insider


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Put a Pin In It

November 17, 2016

Put a Pin In It

You may have noticed people wearing safety pins on their shirts, blouses and lapels. People who object to the Trump election are using the fastener as a symbol of tolerance and solidarity with minorities. The symbol was borrowed from the UK where it was worn to show disapproval after the xenophobic Brexit vote. Like many British expressions, it doesn’t quite translate here:

“Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing,” Christopher Keelty, Huffington Post

“Safety pins: Solidarity symbol or emblem of ‘white guilt’?” By Derek Hawkins, Washington Post


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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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June 29, 2016

After an ill-advised referendum last Thursday, British citizens woke up horrified to learn they had voted to exit from the European Union. United Kingdom politicians are hemming, hawing, stalling for time, and even calling for a do-over vote. EU members aren’t having it. Their message to the UK: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

It’s going to be a messy divorce, really ugly. Expect a custody battle over Scotland, Gibraltar, and Northern Ireland. And the UK can forget about being a Norwegian-style “friend with benefits.”

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Brexit: Reading the Tea Leaves

June 22, 2016

Brexit: Reading the Tea Leaves

With Thursday’s referendum looming, it looks like even money that the UK may leave the European Union. Even the tragic murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a pro-Brexit assassin hasn’t changed that. There’s much at stake, but British nationalism and xenophobia are running high, and it can be hard for those not directly involved in finance or trade to discern the benefits of EU membership and the high costs of Brexit.

And your normal British bloke just doesn’t feel very European. He might like bit of pastry and a cuppa for brekkie, but he can’t even butter a crescent-shaped croissant. The UK’s Tesco supermarkets finally gave up and stopped baking traditional curved croissants and straightened them out for the native-born. Can those even be called “croissants,” “cornettos”, or “cuernos”? Shudder. Could this be a sign of impending Brexit?


“British Retailer’s Straight Croissants Leave Some Bent Out of Shape,” Dan Bilefsky, New York Times

“In a twist: Tesco’s decision to stop selling curved croissants sparks debate,” Damien Gayle, The Guardian

Straightened-Out Croissants and the Decline of Civilization,” Adam Gopniok, The New Yorker

“French mock Tesco over decision to only sell straight croissants because customers cannot spread jam properly,” Caroline Mortimer, The Independent