A New Low: Cambridge Analytica Targeted Trump Supporters Using Fashion

Is nothing sacred? Well of course in 2018 we already know the answer to that question is “No, obviously not”, but now we have to ask: are all the things that aren’t sacred even less sacred than we thought they were?

We knew Donald Trump pulled a lot of shady stuff to get himself elected president against the odds, not to mention logic and reason and the assumption that we are not in the darkest timeline. But his nefariousness goes deeper than we had suspected, as revealed recently by Christopher Wylie at the Business of Fashion Voices Festival.

Wylie was at one time director of research for the political marketing firm Cambridge Analytica, famed for its underhanded work getting Trump elected. These days Wylie is in the business of exposing CA’s darkest secrets, and they don’t come much darker than the revelation that the company mined data on voters’ fashion tastes to focus the Trump message on the most susceptible segments.

Basically, Cambridge Analytica gathered info on social media users’ preference for particular fashion brands, used that info to predict those users’ personalities, and used those predictions to target Trump messaging.

This will come as a big shock to everyone who thought that all fashion was being used for was to make us look fabulous, provide employment for starving models, and destroy teenagers’ self-esteem. This world is a dirty, dirty place, we knew that – but if even clothes aren’t safe from Trump, what hope is there?