Journalist highlighting Cambridge Analytica scandal launches crowdfunding to pay for defamation case
Carole Cadwalladr, who was nominated for a Pulitzer during the Cambridge Analytica scandal, is facing a defamation lawsuit filed by Aaron Banks, who funded her Brexit campaign.
For those of you who don’t know, Cadwalladr, who worked as a Freelance journalist for the Guardian, was the first to draw attention to the dirty relationship between Cambridge Analytica, Trump and Brexit. Cambridge Analytica, who was assigned by the Trump campaign team to change the outcome of the US 2016 Presidential election, also played an important role in the Brexit referendum, when the UK decided to leave the European Union.
The company was assigned to change the election results predicted by the people it was hired to do so and used millions of Facebook profiles that were illegally purchased to do so.
A recent TED speech by Cadwalladr on the subject went viral. In his speech, Cadwalladr spoke of a number of evidence shared by the United Kingdom Parliament. According to this evidence, Aaron Banks, the prominent figure in the Brexit campaign and the businessman who funded the campaign, had several secret meetings with the Russian government. In his speech, Cadwalladr said Facebook’s role in Brexit poses a threat to democracy. The video of the conversation received more than 2 million views.
Cadwalladr’s coverage of the Brexit campaign and the news that Nigel Farage, Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Election campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election are related to Banks, the United Kingdom’s FBI National Crime Agency turned into an investigation.
Banks then sued not only newspapers and publishers who covered the news, but also cadwalladr. The case focuses on Russian government meetings, which are mentioned in The Great Hack Netflix documentary, beyond allegations of financial and political relations.
The Observer, TED and the Guardian have the resources to deal with this kind of case, but Cadwalladr, a Freelance journalist, does not have the financial resources to deal with this. Cadwalladr, which could face a million-pound fine, announced the launch of a GoFundMe campaign to resolve the issue.
Cadwalladr’s lawyers say the case is unfounded, but the bank’s legal costs, expected to be in the seven digits, are enough to bankrupt the journalist. As a result of the lawsuit, Cadwalladr could be pushed to remain silent for months, the Associations for Press Freedom said, saying it was an abuse of laws and a step towards silencing journalists.
Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU communications director, who was appointed as Banks’ spokesman, said the lawsuit was brought in to prevent Cadwalladr from continuing to make untrue and exaggerated claims.