(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
ISLAMABAD/LONDON – After Cambridge Analytica was brought into the news by a whistlebrower who claimed that the political consulting firm had illegally acquired Facebook data, which reportedly impacted the 2016 US elections, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has approached the company, The Dependent has learnt.
Sources within the party have revealed that the PTI has approached the firm for data mining, data brokerage and analysis with regards to the party’s followers on Facebook that are actual human beings.
“We want to know the exact percentage, if not the number, of our Facebook and Twitter profiles that are actual human beings and not fake accounts of bots that are created to self-replicate the same tweets and Facebook posts,” a senior PTI leader confirmed.
“I am not saying that this process of bots and fake profiles that we initiated, which not only made the PTI the second largest – soon to be largest – party in the country, but was replicated by other parties as well, hasn’t worked. What I’m saying is that unfortunately the numbers on social media have affected our understanding on the actual number of voters and hence certain decisions have not been taken in accordance with ground realities.”
According to reports, Cambridge Analytica will analyse the data of actual human beings that have liked PTI’s Facebook page and followed the Twitter profile, per constituency.
Sources also suggest that similar data is being purchased by the Inter Services Public Relations, to figure out the actual number of its Twitter handlers amidst the unaccounted proliferation of bots.
“This is also because actual human beings, especially media personnel, have been acting like our bots as well,” an ISPR source told The Dependent.