They go on to explain:
Friend-access has been built into tools from NGP VAN and other vendors, and it worked like this: If a candidate’s supporters clicked a button to allow it, the technology would compare their lists of friends to the campaign’s priority list of outreach contacts—often voters who were hard to reach in other ways.
If the software detected a match, it would ask the supporter to confirm that they were indeed friends with the person in question (false positives were inevitable, making verification vital). The supporter would then be asked to contact the targeted voter on behalf of the campaign, often with a message designed to match the recipient’s demographic profile.
In 2012, the Obama campaign developed its own version of the tool, and staff I’ve spoken with have described it as particularly useful in reaching younger voters. Since many people in their 20s move frequently and rarely have land lines, social connections were one of the only ways to track this elusive quarry.
But no more: Facebook’s API change blocks new apps from accessing friend lists, and existing ones are grandfathered in for just a year. After the 2014 election cycle, vendors will have to find new ways to mine the social web for voter contacts. Smart ones will have already done so.
Electoral activists will likely wish to note the remainder of this article, about further potential tools. Patriots will likely need to keep tracking Facebook, along with the great preponderance of heavily financed technology firms, which typically function with very few, determined degrees of freedom from global central banksterism.