(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Snapchat gave leftist political operators access to their opponent’s political data before the 2022 midterms.
More precisely, “Snap’s political ad archive shows multiple Democratic and progressive organizations were able to target their ads on the platform using data maintained by the Republican-aligned firm i360,” according to Axios.
The firm is associated with conservative billionaire Charles Koch.
Axios reported that the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams’s gubernatorial campaign used the stolen data on Snapchat.
It said that the data leak included some leftist data being available to conservative firms, but “its use by political groups was significantly more prolific on the Democratic side.”
Axios explained that the data used by Snapchat and other Big Tech firms is specific enough that it allows “political advertisers [to] target their ads to highly specific user segments—frequently relying on data brokers that hoover up information on voters’ interests, activities, spending habits, and other criteria.”
Calling Snapchat’s partisan leak “a slip-up,” Axios further reported that “there’s no indication Snap was aware of or facilitated that data sharing, and the company said it’s taking steps to rectify the oversight.”
Axios said the data leak was the result of “an internal mistake” caused by Snapchat failing to follow its “usual process.”
“We take full responsibility for this mistake,” a Snapchat spokesperson told Axios. “We are also taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
The company spokesperson said it had informed concerned parties as soon as it became aware of the leak.
Eric Wilson, a Republican strategist, was less dismissive of the “accident,” according to Axios.
“Republican clients and their donors will be surprised to learn that their data is being used to help Democrats, Planned Parenthood, and other opponents,” Wilson said. “They should ask if and how their campaign activities were used to enhance the data provided via Snapchat.”