An undercover investigation has blown the lid off the workings of Cambridge Analytica, the British data company that was suspected and now boasts of influencing Kenya’s 2017 presidential election. In a three-part series titled ‘Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks’, Britain’s Channel 4 News exposes how the right-leaning digital marketing firm targets voters with propaganda to influence their voting decisions. In the investigation, the company’s bosses, including chief executive Alexander Nix, are secretly filmed saying they discreetly campaign in elections across the world through a web of shadowy front companies or by using sub-contractors.
The executives boast that Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), have worked in more than 200 elections across the world, including Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India and Argentina.
In the Kenyan propaganda campaign, Cambridge Analytica executives say they worked for the re-election of re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta behind the scenes.
Mark Turnbull, the managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s Political Global, says they engineered a digital campaign that painted Mr Kenyatta in positive light while smearing his main rival Raila Odinga.