A Little Girl Used Her Dad's Fixation On The Cambridge Analytica Controversy To Ask For A Puppy

When I was in second grade, I desperately wanted to see Titanic in theaters. My mother deemed it too scary for me, but I figured if I badgered her enough she'd give in. So, using the commercials for Nickelodeon Magazine as a blueprint, I hid messages reading, "CAN I SEE TITANIC?" all over my parents' apartment for a week. It didn't work, but it was a noble effort — not nearly as noble, though, as the efforts of one little girl who used her father's obsession the Cambridge Analytica controversy to ask for a puppy.

As reported by Mashable, the aforementioned innovative puppy ask is courtesy of the daughter of one Brendan Greeley, an economics journalist in New York. Apparently, Greeley's been intensely following the Cambridge Analytica controversy, in which a Trump-affiliated data analytics company reportedly illegally obtained Facebook users' data to target voters who might vote for Donald Trump. The controversy's been a hot topic of late, spurring a lot of conversation about whether or not Facebook is responsibly harvesting data and protecting users' privacy. And apparently Greeley's young daughter has been paying attention to the whole shebang — not because she's particularly concerned about the effect of social media on the democratic process, but because she wants a dog.

"Having studied my habits and preferences, my daughter hacked my attention this morning for her political agenda," Greeley tweeted this week, along with a photograph of a Financial Times article about Cambridge Analytica. Atop the headline, his daughter had scribbled, "CAN I PLEASE GET A PUPPY?" (and, under it, "a real one!" just to be clear). The tweet, unsurprisingly, went viral.

Indeed, it appears Greeley's daughter was so attuned to her father's reading preferences that she knew he'd go right for the Financial Times' Cambridge Analytica content. Perhaps she hoped he'd be so frustrated with the Real News about our crumbling political system that he'd see a new puppy as a way to emotionally combat the bad stuff, or maybe she assumed, as I did with my Titanic overtures, that if she annoyed him enough he'd cave. Either way, she certainly managed to catch his attention, along with the attention of thousands of other people who retweeted, liked, and commented on Greeley's tweet; and, most importantly, J.K. Rowling, who never once stepped in to address my family's Titanic controversy, but lent her two cents to this:

It's not clear whether or not Greeley's daughter's efforts worked in her favor, though certainly, public pressure has its bonuses, since Greeley was flooded with responses from friends and strangers pushing him to reward his daughter with a new pet. "I heartily endorse this message, although I have not been paid to do so nor will I benefit from this in any way financially or reputationally. I do not have any links, political or economic, with your daughter or her need for a doggo. That said, puppies," one person tweeted. Another wrote, "By putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. I believe your daughter has absolutely understood the power of messaging. She also said 'please.' Hope a happy puppy update follows."

In fact, if you think about it, if Greeley ends up having to get his family a puppy, it's his fault entirely. His daughter is clearly a marketing wiz, having properly targeted the messaging in a branded package deemed attractive to her chosen demographic. But by tweeting that messaging, Greeley put himself in a tough position, and now he MUST get a puppy, or J.K. Rowling will hate him. And since it appears the Greeley family already has an adult dog, he's set himself up for a future of loud barks and carpet pee. Good luck!