by Ryan Saavendra, Daily Wire:
A new bombshell report released on Wednesday night alleges that Democrats used “similarly deceptive tactics” in the Alabama Senate race last year as Russia used in the 2016 elections.
“The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore,” The New York Times reported.
The Times notes that the methods implored by Democrats concern some who fear that they “taint elections in the United States.”
“The project’s operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore,” The Times continued. “It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention.”
The New York Times obtained an internal report on the Democrat’s operation, which stated it “experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.”
“We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,” the report added.
The Times report states that the operation had a “budget of just $100,000, in a race that cost approximately $51 million,” as the publication tried to downplay the impact of the operation.
However, mainstream media outlets, including The Times, have repeatedly hyped Russia’s efforts in the 2016 elections to use social media to create division.
How much money did Russia’s troll farm spend on Facebook ads? $100,000.
The notion that Democrats’ deception operation was designed to have “almost no impact” no the race is nearly impossible to prove, especially considering the fact that “when Election Day came, Mr. Jones became the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter of a century, defeating Mr. Moore by 21,924 votes in a race that drew more than 22,800 write-in votes. More than 1.3 million ballots were cast overall.”
The Times notes that the Democrats’ operation “got started as Democrats were coming to grips with the Russians’ weaponizing of social media” to create division between Americans during the 2016 elections.
“I know there were people who believed the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire,” said Renée DiResta, a computational propaganda researcher. “It was absolutely chatter going around the party.”
Democrats also sought to keep the identities of those who were funding Jones’ campaign a secret. Last year, The Daily Wire reported:
The mystery super PAC that has poured more than $4 million into Alabama’s special Senate election on Tuesday is controlled by two of the Democrat’s largest super PACs — both of which are funded by Democratic megadonor George Soros.
While Jones tries to appear detached from Washington special interests, a Politico report published late Monday revealed that mystery super PAC Highway 31 “is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action.”