Nation Building the SNP way

No sooner am I suspicious (2 September), cynical (3 September), or bored (7 September) about the SNP’s ‘National Survey’ than another aspect is revealed that fans the flames of my interest.

Today I have to thank @thebestbond for the latest twist of the knife in the near-corpse of this ill-begotten exercise.

Tucked away at the bottom left of the online survey along with the inadequate reference to privacy and data protection is the statement ‘Made with NationBuilder’:

national-survey-2016-nation-builder

This is the largest I can copy the statement to fit it here: on-screen you wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of reading it without your specs on.

Having noticed this before on some other SNP web page, I had assumed in my naivety that it was something to do with the SNP itself. After all, isn’t nation building what they’re doing, at least in their own tunnel-vision eyes? Perhaps it was some unique Scottish-built software that they had commissioned to go along with the nationalist .scot web domain they’re so keen to promote.

Alas, a single click on that name took me not to some young thrusting high-tech company in Yes City/Dundee, but to sunny California, and Los Angeles in particular. These screen shots from NationBuilder’s web site should give the gist of what they’re all about.

Win your election …

nationbuilder-home-page

Maps and data …

nationbuilder-voter-map

More sophistication …

nationbuilder-top-features-for-politics

Money, money, money …

nationbuilder-pricing

Just review those screen shots in the context of the claim that the ‘National Survey’ is an objective exercise in finding out what people’s political priorities are. In the order I show them:

  • the purpose of NationBuilder is to help politicians/political parties ‘Win your election,’ or in this case I guess ‘Win your referendum’ (it has other related purposes, for example ‘Run your non-profit’ but this is the key one in relation to the SNP’s survey)
  • it provides ‘Everything you need to win your election’ and enables anyone’s details to be held on a map showing related information including like-minded people nearby
  • it’s ‘Top features for politics’ (I am sure there are many more) shows further purposes your personal data can be used for
  • finally, check the sort of investment the SNP must be making in this technology. Reviewing the full details of the different payment options and the scale of their data needs, I cannot believe they are paying anything less than $999/month for NationBuilder, and probably more.

I’m sure other political parties use this or similar software. The difference is that those other parties are not carrying out a mass data-capture/marketing exercise disguised as a ‘National Survey.’

As m’learned friends might say, Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. You will see what a sophisticated political party can do with the information you unknowingly donate to them.

And you thought it was all about smiley volunteers trudging the streets to canvass you.

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One Response to Nation Building the SNP way

  1. That’s all they need , the cybernats telling voters , we know where you live.

    Liked by 1 person

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