The Guardian of London has published the video used by Cambridge Analytica to influence, unsuccessfully, the Nigerian presidential election in 2015.
The video, which was obtained from the whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, used graphically violent imagery to portray candidate Muhammadu Buhari as a supporter of sharia law who would brutally suppress dissenters and negotiate with militant Islamists.
Wylie passed the video to British MPs and The Guardian has now published it on YouTube
In testimony to the digital, culture, media and sport select committee last week, the whistleblower said: “[The video was distributed] in Nigeria with the sole intent of intimidating voters. It included content where people were being dismembered, where people were having their throats cut and bled to death in a ditch. They were being burned alive. There was incredibly anti-Islamic, threatening messages portraying Muslims as violent.”
Wylie also said Cambridge Analytica directed AggregateIQ (AIQ), the Canadian digital services firm that worked for Vote Leave during Britain’s EU referendum, to target voters with the video during the Nigerian presidential campaign.
Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, has now handed the material to MPs.
Giving testimony last week, he said: “Cambridge Analytica sent AggregateIQ the video after they [CA] got banned from several online ad networks because the graphic nature of the content violated the terms of service. AIQ was quite freaked out about it. It’s a very disturbing video. They told Cambridge Analytica that. They called it ‘the murder video’.”
In his testimony Wylie said: “AIQ is the firm that’s right at the heart of the official Vote Leave campaign – one-third of all leave spending went through it – and this shows them working closely with Cambridge Analytica to distribute violent, divisive Islamophobic material that should be nowhere near an election campaign.” There is no suggestion that AIQ was involved in the production of the video.
Cambridge Analytica was hired by a Nigerian billionaire to run a campaign in support of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, and the video was targeted at his Muslim opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, who went on to win the election. There is no suggestion that Jonathan was aware of the campaign.
The anti-Buhari video imagines a future in which he is president and sharia law has been imposed. “Coming to Nigeria on February 15th 2015,” the voiceover says in the manner of a trailer for a Hollywood movie. “Dark. Scary. And very uncertain. Sharia for all.”
It poses the question: “What would Nigeria look like if sharia were imposed by Buhari?” It suggests he would strike a deal with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram that would be “a pact with the devil”.
The video also suggests “Buhari will punish all who speak against the regime” and that “women will be veiled”. It ends by saying: “You can stop this movie becoming real.”