Summary of Facebook’s Role in Brexit – and the Threat to Democracy

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Facebook’s Role in Brexit – and the Threat to Democracy summary
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Journalist Carole Cadwalladr implores “the gods of Silicon Valley,” including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to recognize the outsized role their social media platforms played in both the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election. When Cadwalladr investigated the weight of social media interference in the elections, she discovered an intricate web of deceit and criminal activity that is still unraveling. She believes that the age of fair and free elections is over. Cadwalladr’s analysis is critical viewing for citizens interested in safeguarding democracy.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Brexit referendum was influenced by an opaque propaganda campaign on Facebook and
  • How the referendum illustrates that liberal democracy is broken.

About the Speaker

Investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr exposed the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.



Journalist Carole Cadwalladr interviewed residents of Ebbw Vale, a town in South Wales, to find out why 62% voted in favor of leaving the European Union in 2016’s Brexit referendum. Most claimed to want to “take back control.” They disavowed the EU’s contributions to local development, though the town had received millions of pounds in EU funding. They expressed exasperation with immigrants, though few foreigners lived in town. Since anti-immigration rhetoric is prominent in right-wing media, what gave rise to these ideas in Ebbw Vale, a left-leaning region? As Cadwalladr learned...

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