The politicisation of immigration

This is based on the UK experience, but I think some of this will also apply in the US. Why do right wing politicians push an anti-immigration platform? The obvious answer is that immigration is an important concern to their voters, and that is certainly correct.

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John Naughton: Why ‘weaponised’ social media isn’t Brexit’s smoking gun | John Naughton

Investigations into the political role of data analytics are welcome, but they won’t explain why people voted for Trump or leaving the EU

Last May the UK information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, launched a formal investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes. This involved an initial exploration of what went on in the Brexit referendum campaign but potentially also in others. And given the global nature of digital data, the investigation also involved an investigation into how “companies operating internationally” were using the personal data of UK citizens for political purposes.

The overall goal of this inquiry was to understand how personal information was used in political campaigns. The commissioner was concerned about the “invisible processing” of citizens’ private data by algorithms that carry out data-matching and profiling – which of course is what Google and Facebook do for a living. Their automated engines were originally built to facilitate the targeting of commercial messages at their users. But what became clear in 2016 is that those same engines had been “weaponised” by political actors to deliver targeted political and ideological messages, and that’s a very different game. “When the purpose for using these techniques is related to the democratic process,” wrote Denham, “the case for a high standard of transparency is very strong.”

Related: How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into evil | John Naughton

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Owen Jones: Anti-trans zealots, know this: history will judge you | Owen Jones

Those who resisted gay rights have been damned. The same fate awaits bigots who dismiss trans rights

It all seems so chillingly familiar. As gay and bisexual men and women were making limited strides in the struggle for equality not so long ago, a furious backlash followed. Today’s media-driven moral panic over trans people and their rights seems like history repeating itself. Over the past few weeks, there have been almost daily articles in the press targeting trans rights and trans people. The tropes are the same. Back then, gay people were sexual predators; a “gay lobby” was brainwashing children; being gay was a mental illness, or just a phase; and gay rights was political correctness gone mad. Replace “gay” with “trans”, and that’s the state of the British press in 2017.

Related: Trans people already face a hostile world. Now the media is making it worse | Paris Lees

Related: Trans women need access to rape and domestic violence services. Here’s why | Shon Faye

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