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We Need to Pay Closer Attention

Sexy stories of bridge collapses did well, but our boring Cambridge Analytica series is much more important and informative

Kris LaGrange's picture
Mar 26, 2018

We often write stories that do well. In January 2018 we wrote about Trump trying to take away federal pensions. A sad but true story that delivered over 180,000 reads. Then last week, we wrote a story about the FIU Bridge Collapse, blaming that atrocity on the non-union contractor who had a record of hostility against the Building Trades. This story delivered over 330,000 reads and counting.

We made a few bucks off these stories through Google ads, monies we are now using to build our recording studio. We are still accepting individual donations on GoFundMe for that effort as construction is completed and remodeling is just a few Saturdays away from completion.

But Houston, we have a problem. We exposed it in a series we wrote that got little to no fanfare; Cambridge Analytica. In the post-election hours of November 2017, we walked around dazed and confused, depressed at what just happened. The grab 'em by the pu**y reality tv star, wholeheartedly endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan somehow won the presidential election. How did this happen? I said it then to my staff and my inner circle - Facebook gave us Trump - but I couldn't prove how. Clinton's loss wasn't just dumb Democrats, weak union political operations and an uninspiring candidate from the political mainstream - it was false ads and manipulation funded by the Russians on Facebook that brought out the worst in us.

For over a year we have been dealing with the windfall of Trump in Washington. Janus vs. AFSCME is forcing us to prepare for the uncertain, but at least now we know what happened, how it happened and what this now means. Later this afternoon we will release the fourth part in our story about why we need internet advertising and Facebook to be regulated. Our Cambridge Analytica series is in no way sexy, or exciting, but it is an eye-opener; these brief accounts of how political ads were used to divide and conquer are necessary reads for any proud unionist or activist. I plead with all of you, read each story, learn what happened, and do your best to arm yourself so your members do not get manipulated by the $476 billion Facebook Corporation again.

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