Petition to Revoke Robert Mercer's ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

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  • The positions stated herein are not partisan or politically motivated, but rather supported by a reporting of facts.
  • We acknowledge that Robert Mercer's contributions to computational linguistics and natural language processing were significant. [1]
  • However, the data firm founded by Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica, has done irreparable damage to the reputation of the field of computational linguistics.
  • Robert Mercer's firm illegally, or at least unethically, acquired personal information, and used this data expressly to influence a foreign election. [2, 3]
  • Robert Mercer's firm deliberately misled the population from which it collected data, exploiting their willingness to share personal information for purely financial and political gain. [4]
  • Therefore, we believe that Robert Mercer's work and legacy runs counter to the values of the Association for Computational Linguistics, and thus the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by them should be revoked, to uphold the values of the the association.

[1] https://www.aclweb.org/portal/node/2502

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/04/cambridge-analytics-data-brexit-trump

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

[3] http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-biz-cambridge-analytica-facebook-20180320-story,amp.html