Cambridge Analytica used graphic anti-Islamic images in 2015 to influence the presidential election in Nigeria, according to video obtained by The Guardian and testimony by whistleblower Christopher Wylie.
The video showed violent images of people getting their throats cut and being burned, in an effort to paint the eventually victorious Muhammadu Buhari as an Islamic extremist. Cambridge Analytica was reportedly hired by a Nigerian billionaire to campaign for losing candidate Goodluck Jonathan.
Wylie says that Cambridge Analytica shared the video through Canadian firm AggregateIQ, which was also deeply involved in targeted ads used in the Brexit campaign.
Wylie testified that the video was a form of pure intimidation, meant to scare people from going to the polls. Another employee told The Guardian “It was voter suppression of the most crude and basic kind. It was targeted at Buhari voters in Buhari regions to basically scare the shit out of them and stop them from voting.”
Last week, the BBC reported that Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Group, claimed in a brochure that it organized “anti-election” rallies in 2007 to prevent opposition voters from turning out. Nigeria’s government has said that they’ll investigate the companies connections to the 2015 and 2007 elections.
The revelations of the interference in the Nigerian elections follow news that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users to target them with political advertisements. Undercover video later showed Cambridge Analytica’s chief discussing the use of bribes, ex-spies, and sex workers as techniques in election tampering.