Sunday 18 March 2018, Rob Lyons

Was it Big Data wot won it?

After the furore about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, listen to the debate from the Battle of Ideas 2017

How could so many people be convinced to vote for Donald Trump?  Why did so many Brits vote to leave the EU, despite almost unanimous advice from experts, political leaders and celebrities that we should remain? Some attribute these results to the power of Big Data, specifically to the high-tech psychological marketing techniques of a company called Cambridge Analytica. Can the manipulation of data really swing important votes? What are the implications of this approach for privacy and democracy? What does the assumption that a few targeted messages can influence voters’ decisions tell us about elite attitudes towards the electorate?


Jamie Bartlett
director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos; author, The Dark Net and Radicals; presenter, BBC’s The Secrets of Silicon Valley

Carole Cadwalladr
feature writer, Observer

Simon Cooke
member, Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing; leader of the Conservative group, Bradford City Council

Timandra Harkness
journalist, writer and broadcaster; presenter, FutureProofing; author, Big Data: does size matter?

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Battle of Ideas 2018

9:30am, Saturday 13 October 2018, The Barbican, London

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