The Managing Director of the Rating Agency Nikola Spasov and the Minister without Portfolio in the SDSM government Edmond Ademi were part of the Cambridge Analytica network, which has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts for political purposes, a study published on the Medium by journalist Wendy Siegelman shows.
According to the network, the two Macedonian citizens were hired by the Machiavelli Strategies company, which was part of the Cambridge Analytica network, which exploited personal data.
Authorities in Britain, as well as the U.S., are investigating Cambridge Analytica over allegations the firm improperly obtained data from millions of Facebook users. Scrutiny of Cambridge Analytica is growing as top officials from the firm claimed credit for President Donald Trump’s stunning 2016 victory. The only contributors in the Balkans to this company accused of illegally trying to influence election processes are Rating’s Nikola Spasov and the current Minister without Portfolio Edmond Ademi.
Spasov’s agency regularly conducts surveys in all election campaigns in Macedonia, and estimates which party and which candidate will win the most votes.
The head of Rating in statements to the media does not disclose whether Cambridge Analytica had worked on campaigns in Macedonia, but confirms that they have worked on two projects in the region. That he had a collaboration with Cambridge Analytica can be seen from a picture from his Facebook profile, where he is photographed with Alexander Kness, who works in this agency now prosecuted by authorities in the United States and Great Britain.
|Rating’s Nikola Spasov and Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Kness|
The Rating Agency had the biggest debacle in the 2014 presidential election when it predicted that SDSM candidate Stevo Pendarovski would get the lead over VMRO DPMNE’s Gjorge Ivanov, making a margin error of 400%, then commented some of the experts.
After the elections, on April 15, 2014, Rating announced that the agency needed changes in the methodology since the latest forecast for the presidential election proved to be wrong.