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Hillary Super PAC Creates Paid Troll Army to Counter Online Attacks

Hillary Super PAC Creates Paid Troll Army to Counter Online Attacks

“A paid army of ‘former reporters, bloggers’,” et al.

In keeping with the lumbering awkwardness of Hillary Clinton’s presidential primary campaign that has included herding reporters like cattle and adopting a phony Southern accent, Team Hillary has concocted a new means of countering widespread unflattering comments about Hillary online.  Unlike Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, Hillary does not enjoy an enthusiastic following even among those who support her, so she does not have the army of online people voluntarily engaged in defending her against attacks from both the left and the right.

The solution? A vast network of highly paid online pro-Hillary trolls funded by a David Brock super PAC, “Correct the Record,” that will be coordinating with the Hillary campaign.  The plan, apparently, was to hire a bunch of people to do what other candidates’ supporters do for free . . .  and to make it look grassroots and organic.

The LA Times reports:

When the Internet’s legions of Hillary hecklers steal away to chat rooms and Facebook pages to vent grievances about Clinton, express revulsion toward Clinton and launch attacks on Clinton, they now may find themselves in a surprising place – confronted by a multimillion dollar super PAC working with Clinton.

Hillary Clinton’s well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet’s worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton’s campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront  social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

The plan comes as Clinton operatives grapple with the reality that her supporters just aren’t as engaged and aggressive online as are her detractors inside and outside the Democratic Party.

The lack of engagement is one of Clinton’s bigger tactical vulnerabilities, particularly when compared with rivals like Donald Trump, whose viral social media attacks are legion, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is backed by a passionate army of media-savvy millennials.

According to the LA Times, ” a paid army of ‘former reporters, bloggers, public affairs specialists, designers; and others” will form this paid Hillary troll network.

“It is meant to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical,” said Brian Donahue, chief executive of the consulting firm Craft Media/Digital.

“That is what the Clinton campaign has always been about,” he said. “It runs the risk of being exactly what their opponents accuse them of being: a campaign that appears to be populist but is a smokescreen that is paid and brought to you by lifetime political operatives and high-level consultants.”

Brock, founder of the progressive organization Media Matters, is behind this latest attempt to astroturf Hillary support and enthusiasm.

The LA Times continues:

The task force designed to stop the spread of online misinformation and misogyny is the brainchild of David Brock, a Clinton confidant who once made a career of spreading such misinformation and misogynistic attacks against her and Bill Clinton. His critics say he kept his taste for dirty tricks when he switched sides to become one of the Clintons’ most valued operatives.

The mere mention of Correct the Record makes some critics seethe. Super PACs are typically prohibited from working in tandem with candidates, but Correct the Record is doing just that by exploiting a loophole in campaign finance law that it says permits such coordination with digital campaigns.

The left is great at astroturf ideas but not so great in their execution (does anyone remember the Coffee Party?), and it doesn’t look like this effort will be much different in terms of its success.  Instead, it is ripe for mockery.

The reaction to the initiative from supporters of Sanders has been predictable – and it has not been to reconsider their vitriol toward the front-runner.

When actor Tim Robbins was confronted on Twitter after making the dubious assertion that election fraud is robbing Sanders of votes, he accused tweeters who challenged him of being paid shills for Brock. Within an hour, he had directed a variation of the same message at 88 different tweeters:

“Dear @CorrectRecord operatives, Thank you for following today’s talking points. Your check is in the mail. Signed, @davidbrockdc”

All of this is reminiscent of Obama’s various schemes to counter negative comments about him online.  From “flag the fishy” to Attack Watch, the Obama administration has tried variations on this sort of thing, and the result has been some of the most hilarious ads and tweets in recent memory.

Remember this from Misfit Politics?

Following widespread mockery, Attack Watch sort of faded into obscurity and was replaced by the #TruthTeam.  Again, widespread hilarity ensued, and it, too, was all but abandoned.

#CorrectTheRecord is generating its own mocking tweets, mostly (so far, anyway) from progressives and may be on its way to the dustbin of troll history, too:



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What makes this effort self-defeating is something like the Streisand Effect—publicity will ultimately delegitimize even sincere pro-HRC online commenters.

How does one disprove that they’re a paid troll?

David Brock has a taste for “dirty tricks”?

Imagine that.

The only question I have is how this helps “Biden/Warren 2016”?

Common Sense | May 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

David Brock is as scummy as they come. A very nasty person!

Looks like Hillary’ s campaign manager is being paid by Trump.

Great idea. How much do they pay? Where can I apply? I bet I can say something positive about Hillary, then reply to that comment under an alias and repute it, and they;d never know.

Where can I sign up?

Ah, might we eventually see a clash of troll armies as the Clinton trolls engage in mortal keyboard combat with the Trump trolls?

Well, there are certainly enough unemployed people out there who really need the money right now. Are they paying at least $15 an hour with health benefits? (doubtful)

Good. Now we can assume anytime anyone support the Hag of Benghazi we’ll know that he/she is a paid troll.

Since, in effect this is an advertising move on the part of Hillary staffers doesn’t this type of thing come under campaign laws?

Eastwood Ravine | May 10, 2016 at 1:01 am

Get used to having our posts reported for abusive language, content, or whatnot. That’s what this is really about. Leftists truly enjoy being the fascists they deny being.

    lol, I’ve already got one on my tail … firing microaggression claims and safe space demands interspersed with thinly veiled ban hammer threats

    Worse than Hillary landing under fire in Bosnia I tell ya 😉

Well that’s OK for countering attacks from others, but how does that help when her own mouth is doing it?

Explains where most of the #NeverTrump crew is coming from, other than under a rock

    Awesome, DaMav, you have nailed the art of making friends and influencing people. Nothing like a contemptuous attack on other right-leaning voters to bring them around, right?

    If you want to know how effective these bizarre and mean-spirited attacks are, think about how much attacks on YOUR values and ideas by progressives made you change your mind about issues you care about. I’m guessing they didn’t change your mind one iota; in fact, I might even go so far as to suggest that leftist attacks in this vein actually made you dig in all the more, no? If not, my apologies.

    One thing about which I am certain, however, is that this sort of comment does not add anything to LI or to the discussions serious-minded people in both the pro- and anti-Trump camps are conducting here.

      Newt Gingrich and I see through your fatuous nonsense. YOU stand with Hillary, Obama, Lindsey Graham et alia and the stench downwind of your position is too noxious to ignore.

        princepsCO in reply to DaMav. | May 10, 2016 at 9:31 am

        DaMav: You condescend with the best of them, or is that ‘worst of them’? The green sky and yellow air that you endure on your planet obviously causes much of your pain, which you then believe can be lessened by attacking conservatives supporting Constitutional government and Democratic fascists that don’t agree with your Democrat/progressive candidate, DJT.

        Bless your heart, it’ll get better when you let go and let God handle your pain…

          DaMav in reply to princepsCO. | May 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

          I’m a very happy guy, but imagine what you will. All’s well that ends well and thus far its looking good. Clinton’s lead down to single digits from what, 30? Yippee Kayay!

      Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 10, 2016 at 10:30 am

      I’ll tell you what is too noxious to ignore, and THAT’S T-rump’s drive to purge Conservatives from the GOP…

      “I’m a conservative, BUT….” is an oft-told LIE by Der Donald. It DOES have the tiny virtue of exposing his real identity, however.

      He IS a stinking, lying Collectivist fraud, and a thug. As you’ve come out as being.

      You would note, were you capable of such observations, that nobody has attacked Jindal or Perry for supporting T-rump, as those could be positions consistent with their conscience.

      But you are not capable of anything but T-rump sucking attacks on people who are not toeing the line.

      And you whine about any push-back, just like your man-crush.

      You were more effective in your mole-troll mode.

      FSlippers: You are exactly right about DaMav, who does not understand that his personal attacks, which mimic his man’s Trump’s conduct, support the appearance of his being part of a cult, and that his conduct helps push away or keep away supporters of other candidates, or former candidates, who could ultimately break away from their never Trump positions.

        DaMav in reply to Rick. | May 10, 2016 at 6:37 pm

        Yeah, it’s all my fault that people are stupid enough to have a #NeverTrump temper tantrum.

        Your logic here emulates those who say we should be nice to terrorists and close Gitmo to appease them and maybe they’ll stop being terrorists. #NeverTrumps are not terrorists of course, but they are stabbing the country in the back by helping the left take complete control of the SCOTUS. The smart ones will wake up and change their minds regardless of what DaMav says or doesn’t say. The dumb ones will keep up the sabotage and deserve to be called out. As long as I have a voice here I will do so.

          Wait, so you are “calling out” people who do not support and / or will not vote for Trump and are not shy about their personal decision and have stated why they feel as they do? What do you imagine “calling out” these Americans will accomplish? No one is hiding, screeching insults makes you look bad, not them, and nagging and whining won’t get you anywhere, either.

          Sorry, but this “calling out” business seems like an excuse to bully and try to silence people who don’t think as you do. Or maybe you just enjoy being obnoxious? Either way, what a petty choice you have made to hurl insults because you can’t get your way. That’s just sad and makes you seem small.

          That said, have at it. You must derive pleasure from your behavior as there is no other benefit in terms of changing minds about Trump.

Sounds like a digital “war room”, ala Stephanopoulos in ’92. George is now up to the Network level, and is not available for comment.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Romey. | May 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

    George is now up to the Network level, and is not available for comment.

    Yet he’s on record for a $75,000 donation to the Clinton campaign. The very model of a modern media/DNC shill.