The scandal has broken. What we thought we knew has now become fact and then branded as fake news in retaliation. We can't deny that media is there to confuse us - but it teaches us something very important about humans.
As copywriters, we're trained to find the emotional hook. We make a boring chore like insurance sound like some sort of halo-inducing rite of passage. It is our way of bringing a product to life and creating empathy with it and the customer. But with great power comes great responsibility. And with Cambridge Analytica, they sold their morality for votes... and a copious amount of cash, no doubt.
We all know that talking in numbers and facts turns people off. They much prefer to be told about the terrible people who do terrible things and are to blame for everything that's wrong with the world. That's why far right, hate groups get so much coverage.
Whatever side of the fence you're on - these statements, videos and replies stir up an emotion. It digs into the amygdala, pulling on the parts that are relevant to us. If we're angry, unemployed and feel the world is against us, we believe Leave.EU rhetoric that says it's because our wings are clipped by EU overlords and mass immigration puts us at the bottom of the pile. If you're doing ok in life, you're more likely to see this as a load of old bollocks.
I've been unemployed. I've lived hand to mouth. I've battled with depression. I've felt the weight of the world/my life on my shoulders. I didn't believe it was the fault of anything other than a run of bad luck and a system run by the people I voted for set up to work against me. I didn't for one minute think I was losing work to an immigrant (someone who didn't have British qualification or English as a first language), I just assumed I wasn't suitable for the job. I didn't think my housing situation existed because of the pressure on the welfare system, I assumed it was there because the government doesn't like to give away things to poor people.
Other people aren't critical thinkers. They're ruled by their emotions, so posters of Nigel Farage with the words "bursting at the seams" is evocative. Before copywriters put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you need to think of the wider implications. You're manipulating people into thinking a certain way. Empowering them to think it's ok to harm or blame people. And taking action, whether at the polling station or stabbing an MP in daylight.
Emotion makes people crazy and irrational. It makes people blind to the truth, believing only what they want to believe. Yes, facts are largely irrelevant, but choose your words carefully - not all jobs are worth the day rate.