Ex-Obama Campaign Director: It’s ‘Unfair’ Facebook Let Us ‘Ingest Entire Social Network of US’

A former Obama campaign official lit up the internet on Monday after claiming that Facebook allowed them to mine massive amounts of Facebook data because “they were on our side.”

Now, comments she made in 2015 are shining even more light on exactly how extensive the data mining effort was — and how it may have given Democrats an “unfair” data advantage going forward.

Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, said the Obama campaign was able to “ingest the entire social network” in the United States.

“Where this gets complicated is, that freaked Facebook out, right? So they shut off the feature,” she added. “Well, the Republicans never built an app to do that. So the data is out there, you can’t take it back, right? So Democrats have this information.”

But Republicans do not have that information and they will not be able to gain access to it, she said.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

“I’m a Democrat, so maybe I could argue that’s a great thing, but really it’s not in the overall process,” Davidsen said. “That wasn’t thought all the way through and now there’s a disadvantage of information that, to me, seems unfair. But I’m not Facebook.”

Watch the video of her remarks below:

In a Sunday tweet thread, Davidsen claimed Facebook saw what they were doing with data and decided to let it happen because of politics.

“They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side,” Davidsen tweeted.

Twitter/Screengrab

Earlier this week, Facebook announced it had suspended Cambridge Analytica from the social network for improperly collecting the information of 50 million users. Cambridge Analytica is arguing everything was done “legally and fairly,” setting the stage for another battle for Facebook.

Facebook’s shares have been tanking in the U.S. and lawmakers are already calling on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on how the company plans to protect user data.

Facebook did not immediately respond to IJR’s request for comment about Davidsen’s claims.

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