The Guardian has published a disturbing video, used by Cambridge Analytica (CA) and its AggregateIQ (AIQ) affiliate, to influence the Nigerian presidential election in 2015 in favor of Goodluck Jonathan by portraying President Muhammadu Buharu as an extremist Muslim threat to the nation’s future.
The video provided by former CA employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie was distributed through social media, and used threats of sharia law and scenes of dismemberment, immolation and other violent imagery to portray Buhari in an anti-Islamic light.
The video, shared by the official News Agency of Nigeria, imagines a frightening future of religious repression and death that begins when Buhari is elected, ushering in a cinematic-style dystopian age.
In recent testimony before British lawmakers, Wylie said the video was released in Nigeria with the sole intent of intimidating voters. “Cambridge Analytica sent AggregateIQ the video after they got banned from several online ad networks because the graphic nature of the content violated the terms of service,” Wylie said during testimony. “AIQ was quite freaked out about it. It’s a very disturbing video. They told Cambridge Analytica that. They called it ‘the murder video.'”
Cambridge Analytica was hired by a Nigerian billionaire, The Guardian said, to run a campaign in support of Jonathan, but there is no indication Jonathan was aware of the campaign. It’s one of several cases that put the spotlight on CA practices.
Following his testimony last week, CA denied that materials Wylie gave to the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee proved any allegations made against the firm in a probe of its role in the Brexit campaign.
“None of these documents support the false allegations made in Tuesday’s hearing. Nor do they support the allegations made by some media outlets based on Mr Wylie’s unsubstantiated claims,” the CA statement said. “Chris Wylie left the company in July 2014 and has no direct knowledge of the company’s work or practices since that date.”
A copy of the video, with graphic content warnings, is available from The Guardian here.
Image: CA video