De Zuckerberg a Iván Duque

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El mundo de las redes sociales se sacudió ante la constatación de que los perfiles de 50 millones de usuarios en Facebook se filtraron para manipular la campaña electoral de Trump. El modus operandi en este caso, es similar a la campaña del miedo utilizada por la extrema derecha uribista en el referendo del no

Alberto Acevedo

Una oleada de repulsión, de rabia, de indignación y de rechazo generalizado en el mundillo de la política, el periodismo y las comunicaciones, produjo la constatación, hace un par de semanas, de que de las manos de la gigante de las redes sociales, Facebook, habrían “escapado”, sin su aparente consentimiento, 50 millones de perfiles de usuarios, que se utilizaron para manipular datos en favor de la campaña electoral del señor Donald Trump en los Estados Unidos.

Plataformas de información similares, asegura la fuente inicial, habrían sido utilizadas también para favorecer los resultados del Brexit en el Reino Unido, para alcanzar los resultados que obtuvo la campaña presidencial del señor Macron en Francia, de procesos electorales y de consultas plebiscitarias en varios países, incluidos algunos de América Latina, y particularmente de las campañas electorales de la extrema derecha uribista contra el proceso de paz en Colombia.

Beneficiaria de las filtraciones de Facebook fue la empresa de mampara Cambridge Analytica, de Londres, que construyó con esa información un programa para predecir las decisiones de los votantes en Estados Unidos e influir en ellas en favor del señor Trump.

Al servicio de la ultraderecha

Quien hizo estallar la bomba del escándalo fue un muchacho de 28 años de edad, Christopher Wylie, quien confesó a varios medios de comunicación que la empresa para la que trabaja, Cambridge Analytica, construyó una herramienta en la que Facebook jugó un papel fundamental y sirvió para manipular diferentes campañas políticas, entre ellas la realizada recientemente en Kenya.

Dijo la fuente que la información inicialmente recopilada por Facebook se utilizó para configurar perfiles psicológicos que luego fueron utilizados para manejar las campañas políticas con mensajes específicamente diseñados para cada audiencia, con el fin de influir en el voto final. Explicó que lo único que se necesita es una docena de ‘likes’ en Facebook para crear un algoritmo que permite saber con bastante precisión si la persona pertenece a un matrimonio de padres separados, sus creencias religiosas, sus preferencias políticas, etc. La compañía, dijo Wylie, es experta en ‘operaciones psicológicas’, cuyo objetivo es influenciar a la gente y hacerla cambiar de opinión.

Lo que no dijo Wylie, pero reveló otra fuente, es que Cambridge Analytica, cuyo fundador es Alexander Nox, es una firma dedicada a la guerra sucia en la realidad y la virtualidad, asociada a la ultraderecha y a los servicios de inteligencia ingleses. En su página de presentación, Nox reconoce haber manejado procesos electorales en Colombia. Y se deduce, que por sus simpatías con grupos de extrema derecha, esas elecciones se refieren a las campañas, no solo por el no en el plebiscito por la paz, sino en el impulso actual al candidato de la derecha uribista.

Manipulación de encuestas

En la página web que ofrece los servicios de Cambridge Analytica, aparece como carta de presentación la campaña realizada en Colombia para la alcaldía de Enrique Peñalosa. Este desmintió que existiera una vinculación directa con la firma británica. Pero Nox, en una conversación grabada con algunos de sus clientes, admitió que una de sus funciones es crear empresas de papel, para borrar este tipo de relación. De hecho, está en capacidad de crear una empresa diferente para cada cliente. En el caso colombiano, se asoció con Farrow Colombia SAS, vinculada a una aplicación para celulares Pig.gi.

Mediante el ‘dominio informativo’, admitió Nox, que comprende difusión de rumores, desinformación y noticias falsas, se busca generar miedo y rabia. Fue precisamente lo que hizo la campaña por el no, que lideró Uribe Vélez en Colombia, según lo admitió, en unas declaraciones a La República, el propio gerente de la campaña, Juan Carlos Vélez Uribe. Una forma de difusión de noticias falsas consiste en inflar una candidatura, tal como ha sucedido con el candidato uribista Iván Duque, que en todas las encuestas mantuvo una expectativa de aceptación del 6 por ciento, y de un día para otro, se remonta, gracias a ‘encuestas de opinión’, a un 50 por ciento.

Los parlamentos de la Unión Europea, Gran Bretaña y Estados Unidos, citaron al fundador de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, para que de explicaciones sobre la monumental fuga de datos y el destino que se dio a esa información. Una de las cuestiones por las que deberá responder es por qué no alertó sobre este hecho, pese a que las maniobras de su aliada Cambridge Analytica se conocían desde hace varios meses.

Pueden ahogar la democracia

Tampoco es la primera vez que se presenta una fuga de información con estas empresas, y por el contrario, episodios similares han tenido que ver con la actividad de Google, Twitter, entre otras. “El manejo de datos se ha convertido en el nuevo petróleo, para la política. Estamos ante una batalla global para influir sobre la gente, en la que se generan extrañas relaciones y alianzas. Este uso manipulativo de la minería de datos, es un fenómeno muy amplio”, asegura Andrés Ortega, investigador del Real Instituto Elcano.

Para el investigador español, estamos ante manipulaciones para influir, que van más allá de las noticias falsas y se trata de prácticas tecnológicas que pueden ahogar la democracia.

Lo que pone en evidencia este episodio, es que los grupos poderosos, que manejan la economía y la política no respetan ‘privacidades’. Irónicamente, estamos ante la muerte de una privacidad que nunca hemos tenido, como asegura otro analista.

No se trata de un descubrimiento nuevo. El espionaje de los poderosos hacia los humildes, ha sido tan viejo como la división de las clases sociales. Los explotadores siempre han querido saber cómo piensan sus subalternos, para prevenir rebeliones, protestas, inconformidades, alteraciones del orden ‘sacrosanto’.

La información robada se usa como arma de guerra económica, ideológica y política. Esto explica por qué mucha de la información filtrada en ocasiones anteriores, ha pasado a manos de los organismos de inteligencia militar. Y en estos casos, no se armó un zambapalos, como ha sucedido ahora. Lo que hablas, lo que sueñas, lo que ignoras, lo que silencias, todo es susceptible de espionaje, cuando se quiere someter a las personas a los caprichos de las clases dominantes.

Por fortuna, comienzan a surgir fuertes movimientos sociales de reacción a esta manipulación, y reclaman, cada vez con más fuera, un manejo transparente de las redes sociales, de los bancos de datos, que puedan ser utilizados en forma transparente en función de la democratización de la sociedad.

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