There was a “Russia collusion” conspiracy that altered the outcome of a U.S. election. Republican Roy Moore was cheated out of the Alabama Senate race last year due to an effective disinformation experiment that was used on social media. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has been investigating a conspiracy that ultimately got Democrat Senator Doug Jones elected. The conspiracy was called Project Birmingham.
“The information is concerning,” said Alabama’s AG Steve Marshall, “The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there.”
Democrats who operated Project Birmingham allegedly violated state campaign laws and used disinformation tactics to alter last year’s special election. An internet billionaire named Reid Hoffman confessed to giving $750,000 to American Engagement Technologies (AET). The money was used by AET to create automated Russian bot accounts on social media. A Facebook page was created to appeal to Republicans who do not support Moore. The Russian bot accounts were used to make the group appear popular and legitimate, manipulating social media users. Hoffman claims he wasn’t in on the conspiracy, but the money was ultimately used to create fake evidence to support an online group that undermined Roy Moore.
American Engagement Technologies paid a research firm called New Knowledge to experiment with disinformation tactics, which included a Facebook page to manipulate Republicans not to support Moore. New Knowledge chief executive Jonathon Morgan admits that his research firm was paid to work on disinformation tactics but denies that he tried to affect the outcome of the election.
“Technology has put us in a difficult position in many respects in terms of the applicability of our current laws,” said Alabama AG Steve Marshall. Authorities are struggling on how to address online disinformation tactics that manipulate voter’s decisions and willingness to vote. Because voters make up their own minds, it’s hard to prove that disinformation campaigns interfered with election results. Once the schemes are exposed and proven effective at creating fake evidence to change election results, should there be a new election?
As authorities crack down on disinformation campaigns, deeper manipulation tactics could be employed to frame candidates. Could the Russian bot manipulation schemes be used to frame the opposing party? For example, what if Republicans used fake Russian bot accounts to secretly undermine a member of their own party, only to have the scheme exposed later on as if Democrats were trying to manipulate and steal the election? Could this maneuver be used to call for a new, special election, destroying the reputation of the Democratic rival and giving the battered Republican candidate the moral high ground?
More likely, what if Democrat operatives disguised themselves as Republicans and helped operate and support a campaign for a Republican presidential nominee? What if these Democrat operatives used fake Russian bot accounts online? What if these operatives framed the Republican candidate for “Russia collusion” and had him removed from office? What if these Democrats and their power hungry operatives destroy the reputation of the framed president and called for a new, special election to regain power?
Paying for fake accounts on social media is one proven way to manipulate voters. However, as authorities crack down on disinformation campaigns online, there is the real possibility that deeper acts of manipulation could be used to frame and blame candidates for engaging in Russian collusion.
Read more about political manipulation at DeepState.News.
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