Hillary Clinton is once again speaking from a position of authority on the subject of data security. That might seem strange, given her past record of recklessly mishandling official emails by storing them on private servers.
But the topic here was Facebook – specifically, the Cambridge Analytica scandal – and Clinton is presenting herself not a perpetrator of bad practices, but as a victim.
Clinton was moderating a panel that discussed a new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack.
“I'm like the hit-and-run victim, who you find on the side of the road,” she said at one point. This concerns the claims that Cambridge Analytica's collection and misuse of Facebook data affected election results in the US presidential race in 2016, which Clinton famously lost.
Facebook's highly problematic practices with data collection and monetizing have been a concern for years, perhaps for as long as the company's existed – yet they were consistently brushed aside by the mainstream media and politicians.
But now, in the wake of the 2016 election – and more importantly heading into the 2020 vote – giants like Netflix are investing in documentaries that explore the dangers of what one of the filmmakers, Karim Amer, describes as “a broken system.”
During the panel, however, Clinton was not merely dwelling on the past – she claims that the practice described in the film “is likely to affect our next election.”
And she came down hard on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the controversy of the day – political ads, and Facebook's decision to allow President Trump to run messages that his Democratic rivals deem to be false.
“Mark Zuckerberg should pay a price for what he is doing to our democracy,” Clinton said, while at the same time praising Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for banning political ads on his platform.
A veiled accusation was also made that Zuckerberg might be “conspiring” with Trump by meeting with him, and with some conservative media figures like Fox News host Tucker Carlson and the website Breitbart – and deciding that Facebook would not be the arbiter of truth when it comes to the content of political ads.
She also had this piece of advice on a subject that she probably knows quite a bit more about than she does about data security. “Propaganda works,” Clinton said. “People act like, ‘Oh I wouldn't be influenced.' That is just baloney.”
Hillary Clinton recently said that flashing images on the dark web caused her election loss.