Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan spoke to the Chronicle about social media manipulations in Guyana elections. They both refer to the presence of Cambridge Analytica (CA) and Mercury company.
Nagamootoo claimed that CA developed software which it used in Guyana “that allowed the most intimate interference with the behaviour of our people, and set them up for manipulation on the basis of their race, culture and political persuasion. In effect, the PPP paid handsomely to compromise and undermine what the Guyana Constitution guarantees as the sovereignty of the people.”
Obviously CA is amazingly incompetent because writing in the Chronicle shortly after Mingo was caught inserting fictional numbers in his tabulation; Nagamootoo wrote that the APNU+AFC won the election. In a small country like this with only 400, 000 voters going to the poll, how did such a formidable research company made the PPP lose the election? After all, it is Nagamooto himself who wrote that the PPP lost thus calling into question the competence of CA
It would be nice if Nagamootoo could explain how the research firm failed. The trouble with Nagamootoo is that he doesn’t face the media so we will never know why Lincoln Lewis and David Hinds were removed from the Chronicle as columnists when he was the subject minister. So we will never get an explanation from him as how the company failed the PPP.
Here is Nagamootoo again; “As long as political parties are allowed to utilise the services of unprincipled companies which harness social media and personal data to influence elections, countries like Guyana will never be able to assure its citizens untarnished democratic processes and political equality.” But these companies are failures because Nagamootoo said his party won. There is another question the answer to which makes Nagamootoo looks like an asinine politician.
This columnist knows that the PPP won the election by one seat and almost 8000 votes went to the smaller parties. Those small organizations collected votes that would never have gone to the PNC and the AFC and would have been given to the PPP if these small entities did not contest. If these research firms manipulated people’s thinking then how come almost 8000 voters did not give their ballot to the PPP?
Let’s go to Ramjattan. Despite the power Nagamootoo assigns to CA, its presence was almost non-existent in Guyana because even the Minister of Security did know about CA’s work here and only learnt of it on June 14 when one of CA’s former employees in an interview supposedly touched on Guyana
Now interestingly, the Chronicle also quotes Ramjattan as saying that it was only on Election Day (March 2) that that members of the government knew that Mercury was in Guyana. (see the article; “Democracy in Danger: Nagamootoo, Ramjattan say involvement of Cambridge Analytica, Mercury, threat to elections in Guyana”, Chronicle, 22, 2020)
This is a mountain of elephant dung. This is a small country where the population is concentrated in Region 4 and the majority of Region 4’s residents can be found in Georgetown and its environ. How can two foreign firms be operating in Guyana, tampering with people’s social media postings, hacking into people’s smart phones and manipulating their Facebook postings to positively shape their perceptions of the PPP and no one from the time of the announcement of the date of the election until voting day itself knew anything about these two firms? And the minister whose portfolio is security tells the Chronicle the government only knew on Election Day of the presence of CA.
Here are the words of Ramjattan; “If you now know what Cambridge Analytica can do, what Mercury can do, what interference can come from people of that ilk, who can throw your psycho-demographics and then push nasty disinformation and fake news and all of that. That’s probably where we got distracted from and that is where our gaze ought to have been”
My analysis of the election reveals that the PPP won. But if Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are informing us that these two companies were in Guyana and their power to get into voters head were displayed during the election campaign then they have to tell us how their party beat the PPP. They have to give an explanation, but they will not do so because because Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are sprouting asininities.
Their verbal miasma does not influence anyone. Do you know why only two politicians from the entire fortress of APNU+AFC are telling us about Mercury and CA? Because they have to find a scapegoat for not bringing votes to the APNU+AFC campaign. They are the reason poor Granger lost the election.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Aug 11, 2020The Americas Board was informed about the decisions of the FIBA Executive Committee regarding the FIBA Calendar for World and Senior Continental Competitions in case the November window of the...
Aug 11, 2020
Aug 10, 2020
Aug 09, 2020
Aug 09, 2020
Aug 08, 2020
Clement Rohee has a letter in the August 1, edition newspapers. When you read it, you cannot help but think that Rohee is... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]