Second Fake Facebook Campaign Uncovered, Dedicated to Destroying Roy Moore in Election


In the aftermath of the shocking 2016 presidential election, countless elected Democrats, liberal media outlets and leftists in general indignantly decried alleged Russian interference in the election via the deliberate spread of disinformation and “fake news” on social media with an intent to manipulate voters and undermine the integrity of American democratic processes.

However, it has now been revealed that some cynical liberals adapted the exact same tactics and techniques attributed to the Russians for their own purposes in the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama, which resulted in Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeating Republican Roy Moore to fill the seat vacated by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It had been previously reported that a liberal-aligned cybersecurity research firm — with financial backing from a power player in Silicon Valley — had deceptively engaged in a secretive social media campaign against Moore, one that sought to drive a wedge among his supporters with false stories about alleged Russian support for the candidate and purposeful leaks to the media designed to sow discord and depress turnout among Moore supporters.

Now, The New York Times — which broke the initial story of the first deceptive scheme to defeat Moore — has dropped another surprising bombshell that is quite similar in nature, with a story Monday that revealed a second social media scheme purposefully designed to suppress support for the Republican candidate.

The second deceptive scheme sprang up in the final weeks of the special election in Alabama and involved the use of a fake Facebook page and Twitter account known as “Dry Alabama,” which was purported to be managed by Moore-supporting Baptist prohibitionists who wanted to ban the sale of alcohol across the entirety of the state.

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The intent of the scheme was to drive a wedge between the more moderate and business-friendly Republicans who supported Moore and were favorable to alcohol sales, as opposed to the more socially-conservative Republican supporters of the candidate who generally look disfavorably upon alcohol sales and consumption.

A progressive activist, consultant and writer in Alabama named Matt Osborne admitted to The Times that he had been involved in the “Dry Alabama” fakery, but sought to excuse the underhanded and deceptive manipulation by accusing Republicans — without evidence — of doing similar things online.

“If you don’t do it, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back,” said Osborne. “You have a moral imperative to do this — to do whatever it takes.”

While the first scheme to manipulate and depress Moore supporters was funded by billionaire LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic donor Reid Hoffman, the second scheme was funded by two anonymous individuals in Virginia.

Should there be consequences for the individuals involved in this deception?

Both of the projects received $100,000 each, coincidentally funneled to the leftist operatives through a progressive financial support group known as Investing In Us.

That group is managed by a man named Dmitri Mehlhorn, who declined to comment to The Times on the operations, but said in a separate Medium post that he held “concern that our tactics might cause us to become like those we are fighting,” and had declared that “some tactics are beyond the pale” in a renunciation of disinformation schemes.

Other participants in the “Dry Alabama” project were named, but also declined to share any specific insight into the operation. One woman involved, identified as Beth Becker, cited a non-disclosure agreement to explain the silence surrounding the project, but did tell The Times, “I don’t think anything this group did crossed any lines.”

Technically, with respect to federal and state laws and regulations, Becker is probably correct that no lines were crossed.

However, as was the case with the first scheme — which resulted in the suspension of five associated Facebook users after it was exposed — the scheme quite likely violated the social media platform’s terms of service, which expressly prohibit “misrepresentation” and coordinated efforts to “mislead people about the origin of content.” That, of course, is precisely what both of the anti-Moore operations did.

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The Times hinted toward there being at least two other deceptive social media operations designed to support Jones’ campaign that were separate from the first two, but declined to provide much in the way of specifics … though perhaps those will be exposed in future articles.

In the end, Jones defeated Moore by the slim margin of just 22,000 votes out of nearly 1.5 million cast. While it is impossible to quantify the impact of the subversive and deceptive social media campaigns on Moore’s supporters, it is likewise impossible to dismiss them as having no effect in terms of depressing Moore voters from turning out on Election Day while encouraging Jones voters to do exactly that.

The left screamed bloody murder in 2016 when liberals hought Russians had tampered with the U.S. election by way of deceptive and manipulative social media practices, but liberals had no problem quietly adopting those same tactics as their own when they thought it would be politically useful.

That’s pretty much the height of liberal hypocrisy.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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