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The Persuasion Machine

Jamie Bartlett reveals how Silicon Valley's mission to connect the world is disrupting democracy, helping plunge us into an age of political turbulence.

Jamie Bartlett reveals how Silicon Valley's mission to connect the world is disrupting democracy, helping plunge us into an age of political turbulence. Many of the Tech Gods were dismayed when Donald Trump - who holds a very different worldview - won the American presidency, but did they actually help him to win? With the help of a key insider from the Trump campaign's digital operation, Jamie unravels for the first time the role played by social media and Facebook's vital role in getting Trump into the White House. But how did Facebook become such a powerful player?

Jamie learns how Facebook's vast power to persuade was first built for advertisers, combining data about our internet use and psychological insights into how we think. A leading psychologist then shows Jamie how Facebook's hoard of data about us can be used to predict our personalities and other psychological traits. He interrogates the head of the big data analytics firm that targeted millions of voters on Facebook for Trump - he tells Jamie this revolution is unstoppable. But is this great persuasion machine now out of control? Exploring the emotional mechanisms that supercharge the spread of fake news on social media, Jamie reveals how Silicon Valley's persuasion machine is now being exploited by political forces of all kinds, in ways no one - including the Tech Gods who created it - may be able to stop.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 19 Mar 2019 23:25

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Clark

    Winter Linn

  • 00:06

    Oasis

    Rock 'N' Roll Star

  • 00:09

    Daft Punk

    Burnin'

  • 00:12

    Burial

    UK

  • 00:13

    Aphex Twin

    Come To Daddy (Lord Faulteroy Mix)

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Jamie Bartlett
Executive Producer Mike Radford
Series Producer Tristan Quinn
Director Jack Rampling
Producer Jack Rampling

Broadcasts

Explore the OU's interactive timeline ‘A History of Silicon Valley’

Explore the OU's interactive timeline ‘A History of Silicon Valley’

How Silicon Valley became so powerful