U.S. elections are in a month. And it’s never been more important to participate in the democratic process. Today’s writing prompt will encourage you to consider the difference between dialogue that’s democratic and dialogue that’s anti-democratic. Keep reading to see the full writing prompt and my completed version of it: The Persuadables.

Ben Franklin on money with tape over his mouth
Created by K.E. Creighton in Canva

Today’s Writing Prompt: Anti-Democratic Dialogue

For today’s writing prompt, write a dialogue between two people. Center their dialogue around the democratic process of voting, yet have their dialogue reveal something fundamentally anti-democratic. Read my completed version of this writing prompt below, The Persuadables, for ideas on where and how to start completing this prompt.

Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt

The Persuadables, by K.E. Creighton

“This setup with all the monitors is something. I feel like we’re going to fly a spaceship to the moon. But that’s on the agenda for tomorrow.”

[People in the room laugh.]

“Thank you, sir. We’ve been working hard to make sure this was operating well before the primaries.”

“So, tell me what this is and what you have going on here. You’re saying we have access to all the data and we’re using it for our ads? Even the data no one else can access anymore?”

“Yes sir, we do. If you look at this monitor over here, you’ll see the details of the select group of people we’re targeting with our content. We’re calling them ‘the persuadables.’ But we’re not creating ads for them, just content shared by dummy accounts. We’re using the persuadables’ personal data such as their education levels, voting history, residential history, family history, online shopping history, social media posting and engagement history, etcetera– which includes a lot of data that is no longer accessible to others– to determine what type of content they, the persuadables, need to see before they are fully persuaded, as well as how much of it they need to see and how often they need to see it.”

“We’re persuading them to do what exactly?”

“It depends on what each persuadable’s OCEAN score is and their individual personal data, which our algorithm is set up to parse in real-time.”

“OCEAN score?”

“OCEAN is an acronym for Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The algorithm we’ve designed scores each persuadable in these areas based on their online history and personal data to determine what type of content they need to see before they are persuaded, as well as how much of it they need to see and how often they need to see it.”

“And they’re being persuaded to vote for me?”

“Actually, no. We’ve determined that it’s easier and more effective for your campaign overall to persuade them to refrain from voting, as well as convince others in their in-person and online circles to refrain from voting.”

[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]

Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt

My completed version of this writing prompt was prompted by Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. For more on that, read Targeted by Brittany Kaiser and MincdF*ck by Christopher Wylie and watch The Great Hack on Netflix.

If you complete this writing prompt, share your draft by tagging #DailyDraftsAndDialogues and @kecreighton on Medium, WordPress, or Facebook.