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why is the app accused of manipulating the presidential elections?

Very popular during the presidential elections, the entertainment application Elyze is accused of having largely favored the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron.

What role do entertainment platforms play in national politics? The question deserves to be asked, at a time when more and more elected officials are staging their commitment on their social networks. A few years ago, the emissions To the blackboard et Intimate Ambition were already singled out for their “starification” of certain public figures. Since the TikTok event, the majority of politicians now opt for a direct communication,without filterand intended to reach a young audience more sensitive to the codes of social networks than to the leaflets distributed in the markets.

When politics mixes with entertainment, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the hobby from political activism. A few months ago, the video of McFly and Carlito staging a contest of anecdotes between the two content creators and the President candidate Emmanuel Macron had already been emulated. Many detractors accused the communication department of the Élysée of having carried out a major seduction operation with young people, and the many comments under the video tended to prove them right.

Did the Elyze app manipulate public opinion?

Earlier this year, as presidential elections were in full swing, an app was a huge hit with young voters. Presented as a Political Tinder, Elyze borrowed the codes of dating sites to swipe right or left depending on our affinities with certain proposals. After answering a few dozen questions, it was then possible to discover his presidential match, or the candidate with whom the Internet user had the most political affinities.

Quickly, security questions concerning the personal data of Internet users had arisen. The CNIL had even opened an investigation to determine whether or not the application was in compliance with French and European regulations regarding the data it hosted.

Even more disturbing, several Internet users have raised the fact that with equal answers with a competitor, Emmanuel Macron’s profile systematically emerged at the top of the list. According to the co-founders of the application, Elyze had however “no contact with LREM or with any other political party at the time of the design of the application, which has always taken care to respect strict partisan neutrality”.

At the time, this favoritism was justified by a purely technical concern report our colleagues from Parisian: in the event of a tie, JavaScript would rank the candidates in order of addition to the database. Emmanuel Macron having been entered first, he therefore systematically appeared at the top of the list. Denounced by the opposition, the problem was finally solved through an update.

The co-founder of Elyze joins the Élysée

Despite the assurance of an apolitical project favoring no candidate, criticism around the Elyze application has revived this week. One of the co-founders of the Grégoire Cazcarra app has just been appointed to the government spokesperson’s office, Olivia Gregory. However, he continues to deny any political affiliation for Elyze, who was only intended to encourage the youngest to take part in the political debate, he promises. Since taking office, the former candidate on the list of MoDem deputy Fabien Lainé in the Landes has left the project as well as all of his other associative commitments.

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