A new frontier for guerrilla political warfare
Earlier this week, the New York Daily News reported David Brock, Hillary fanboi and head of pro-Hillary Correct The Record Super PAC, has dropped around $1 million to pay trolls to attack Clinton naysayers.
These so-called “Barrier Breakers” attack anyone who expresses unfavorable criticism of Hillary — all online of course.
As head of the Correct The Record Super PAC for Hillary Clinton, David Brock has launched something called Barrier Breakers — an online mob of paid trolls designed to attack any and every person who says one cross word about Hillary Clinton on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, or elsewhere.
This isn’t a conspiracy theory. They openly spin their strategy on the Correct The Record website and state that they are putting over $1 million behind their efforts.
As you likely know, Super PACs are allowed to raise and spend unlimited money on these types of efforts.
What’s ugly is that we have no idea who these paid operatives are online. According to Correct The Record, many will be former reporters, PR executives, bloggers, and others. We have no idea if they truly say what they mean or mean what they say. Are they even using their actual identities?
Smart move and perfectly fair game play as far as I’m concerned.
But there’s speculation these so-called Hillbots may have gone further than the casual Twitter insult.
A handful of sizable, pro-Bernie groups were suspended, but many have been reinstated.
Allegations maintain these Hillbots join pro-Sanders groups pretending to support Bernie. Then, they either post content that violates Facebook’s user agreement in an attempt to get a group removed or, the Hillbot alleges the group is engaging in hate speech or some other violation.
Niko House, President of North Carolina College Students for Bernie Sanders has his theories:
No one seems to know whether the Hillbots are connected to Brock’s Barrier Breakers, who are also anonymous.
Also likely? A Facebook glitch is to blame. Stephanie Dube Dwilson blogging for Heavy explained:
The Bernie Sanders groups may have been affected by mass reporting from online users who claimed the groups were breaking Facebook rules and terms of service. The same thing happened to Election Justice USA last week, and the site was later reinstated. Admins told people on Reddit that they didn’t know why their Bernie Sanders pages were removed. Whether it was the result of a Facebook bug, mass reports from supporters of political rivals, or something completely different isn’t yet known for certain.
Facebook has automated systems that remove people and pages based on flags and reports sent from other Facebook users. Once an actual person reviews that removal and determines it was fraudulent, they can reinstate the page. An atheist group’s Facebook page experienced exactly this after Facebook was inundated with flags from people who cited the page as being guilty of “bullying.” These were later determined to be false citations from people who didn’t like the page, and the page was reinstated.
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