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Thread: Will fake websites have a big influence on the 2020 presidential election?

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    Will fake websites have a big influence on the 2020 presidential election?

    I know that sometimes the NYT allows links to be read, but if you can't read my link, I'll paste enough of it to let you know the point.

    I'm pretty sure the initial false website went after Biden because he's been leading in the polls. If and when that changes, I think they will go after other leading candidates. Actually, they've already started.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/u...gtype=Homepage


    For much of the last three months, the most popular Joseph R. Biden Jr. website has been a slick little piece of disinformation that is designed to look like the former vice president’s official campaign page, yet is most definitely not pro-Biden.

    From top to bottom, the website, JoeBiden.info, breezily mocks the candidate in terms that would warm the heart of any Bernie Sanders supporter: There are GIFs of Mr. Biden touching women and girls, and blurbs about his less-than-liberal policy positions, including his opposition to court-ordered busing in the 1970s and his support for the Iraq war. Pull quotes highlight some of his more famous verbal gaffes, like his description of his future boss, Barack Obama, as “articulate and bright and clean.” The introductory text declares, “Uncle Joe is back and ready to take a hands-on approach to America’s problems!”

    All the site says about its creator is buried in the fine print at the bottom of the page. The site, it says, is a political parody built and paid for “BY AN American citizen FOR American citizens,” and not the work of any campaign or political action committee.
    The man who created the website is a 30 year old Trump supporter who is currently working for the Trump campaign. I think he added more of a disclaimer to the site, after the NYTimes outed him. He didn't want anyone to know his identity.

    In addition to Mr. Biden, Mr. Mauldin has anonymously set up faux campaign websites for at least three other Democratic front-runners. “Millionaire Bernie” seeks to tar Mr. Sanders as a greedy socialist; “Elizabeth Warren for Chief” mocks her claim of Native American ancestry; and “Kamala Harris for Arresting the People” highlights her work as a prosecutor who, the site says, “put parents in jail for children skipping school — and laughed about it.”

    None, though, has proved as successful as the Biden website. Mr. Mauldin boasted in the interview that he had fooled people into thinking his Biden website was the real campaign page. Some offered to donate money, he said, and others wanted to volunteer.
    The article says that since the websites are being created by an American, they seem more believable compared to those created by Russian trolls in 2016.


    With websites like the faux Biden page, “essentially you’re trying to sow chaos and you’re trying to basically do voter suppression,” said Mr. Goldstein, the Democratic consultant.

    “You want their supporters to get sad, to get angry, to get turned off from their chosen candidate,” he continued. “The way voters tend to work: They don’t turn off from a candidate and pick up someone else; they turn off from a candidate and turn off politics.”

    Mr. Goldstein’s firm, Tovo, tried to prove as much during Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017. With targeted ads, Tovo led conservative Republicans to a website featuring articles by conservatives who opposed the far-right candidate, Roy Moore. Moderate Republicans were directed to a site that suggested they write in a different candidate. The effort relied only on genuine content from conservatives, and it was entirely separate from the Democrats who used Facebook to pose as conservatives.
    So, apparently, at least one Democrat has used the same technique against Roy Moore, although he did use actual comments by conservatives, instead of making things up.

    Someone in the comment section of this article said there was no need to demonize or make up things about Trump because his horrible ideas and actions are all right there in front of us. The commenter does have a point.

    Should Democrats be more aggressive in their use of this nasty technique against Republicans who are running for Congress? If one side plays this game, should the other side do the same? More importantly, how much of an influence will false sites have on both the primary and general presidential election in 2020. I think this is going to be the nastiest election of my lifetime, even worse than 2016. Enough people believed all the lies about Clinton in the last election to turn many swing voters against her. Will this happen again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I know that sometimes the NYT allows links to be read, but if you can't read my link, I'll paste enough of it to let you know the point.

    I'm pretty sure the initial false website went after Biden because he's been leading in the polls. If and when that changes, I think they will go after other leading candidates. Actually, they've already started.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/u...gtype=Homepage




    The man who created the website is a 30 year old Trump supporter who is currently working for the Trump campaign. I think he added more of a disclaimer to the site, after the NYTimes outed him. He didn't want anyone to know his identity.



    The article says that since the websites are being created by an American, they seem more believable compared to those created by Russian trolls in 2016.


    With websites like the faux Biden page, “essentially you’re trying to sow chaos and you’re trying to basically do voter suppression,” said Mr. Goldstein, the Democratic consultant.

    “You want their supporters to get sad, to get angry, to get turned off from their chosen candidate,” he continued. “The way voters tend to work: They don’t turn off from a candidate and pick up someone else; they turn off from a candidate and turn off politics.”

    Mr. Goldstein’s firm, Tovo, tried to prove as much during Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017. With targeted ads, Tovo led conservative Republicans to a website featuring articles by conservatives who opposed the far-right candidate, Roy Moore. Moderate Republicans were directed to a site that suggested they write in a different candidate. The effort relied only on genuine content from conservatives, and it was entirely separate from the Democrats who used Facebook to pose as conservatives.
    So, apparently, at least one Democrat has used the same technique against Roy Moore, although he did use actual comments by conservatives, instead of making things up.

    Someone in the comment section of this article said there was no need to demonize or make up things about Trump because his horrible ideas and actions are all right there in front of us. The commenter does have a point.

    Should Democrats be more aggressive in their use of this nasty technique against Republicans who are running for Congress? If one side plays this game, should the other side do the same? More importantly, how much of an influence will false sites have on both the primary and general presidential election in 2020. I think this is going to be the nastiest election of my lifetime, even worse than 2016. Enough people believed all the lies about Clinton in the last election to turn many swing voters against her. Will this happen again?
    What do you think, SH? Should Dems fight fire with fire in this case? Seems that the trumpopagandists are going to go that route full throat - should the Dems try to claim high moral ground by not reciprocating?
    I say no. Not that Dems should emulate the behavior of the "fakes" with fakes of their own, exactly. Rather they should make fakes that are quite blatantly fake, but resemble republicans' fakes... get people more used to the fact that what they're looking at on the internet, is whatever they're looking for, and doesn't necessarily have any relationship to facts or reality, especially if it's political.

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    I feel it would be wrong to stoop to their level, but at the same time, I do worry about what will happen if the Democrats don't act like attack dogs. I just have a sick feeling that this election is going to be extremely nasty, and may not give us the results that most Americans would want if it weren't for all the misinformation out there.

    And, I also wish that the Democratic candidates would stop attacking each other, and simply focus on why they are the best candidate to run against Trump. Attacking each other is just giving ammunition to the Trump side. I can imagine the adds that will be used against the nominee, where a Democrat who didn't win the primaries is shown attacking the nominee. I am seriously worried that we are looking at a second term for Trump. If after all the obvious corruption, his love of dictators, the huge increase in the federal deficit, his false promises etc. haven't changed enough of his supporters minds, what the fuck will?

    When I was still working some of my older patients received propaganda about Clinton that was false, but they believed it and they voted for Trump. I'm taking about people over the age of 80, who still vote. People over the age of 70 or so are often easily manipulated and the Republicans know it. ( no not all older adults, but a fairly good percentage ) These people vote more consistently than young people do. Plus, as we well know, a large percentage of Americans are very gullible. Think of all the false things that were said about Clinton that were taken seriously by some people. It's worrisome. I have no idea how to effectively fight it.

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    Going down that road is going down a road paved straight to northern New Jersey (inland, not the coast). It is bad enough one side has become so radically partisan, it seems some voted for Trump just to rile up liberals. If liberals go down the same road, we get the Government we deserve.

    "I'm *** and I approve this message" started after the GOP got caught using a subliminal message in a campaign ad (the "rats" ad) in 2000. The GOP distanced themselves from it and created this bogus bullshit of "I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message" in order to effectively deflect rightful criticism of the subliminal ad. Now with social media, the Internet is more dangerous than ever when it comes to propagating false information, not misleading... the right-wing AM radio empire does that all the time, but flat out false information.

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    It's kinda hard to fight a combination of fear and stupid. The best things the dems can do is stay informed about these websites and out them. Other than that, have some emotion, but don't let your emotions make you stupid. If there are more fearful, stupid people voting than not, Trump is going to win again. That's how our democracy works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    So, apparently, at least one Democrat has used the same technique against Roy Moore, although he did use actual comments by conservatives, instead of making things up.
    There was a bot camped out on our local surfing forum in 2016. It didn't generate content. It reposted just about everything the Phil Rockstroh wrote in pushing a narrative that Clinton/Obama were Deep State NWO Neo-Liberal War Mongers. It also reposted just about every article claiming that Clinton stole a rigged election from Bernie. That bot existed to generate an undervote on the Democrat side and it did so simply by sharing and sharing and sharing a certain type of content that was created by liberals with the intent to make sure that liberals didn't turn out to vote. At this point I don't think that bot was Russian either. I think it was funded by the Heartland Institute or similar as port of the GOP strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    It's kinda hard to fight a combination of fear and stupid. The best things the dems can do is stay informed about these websites and out them. Other than that, have some emotion, but don't let your emotions make you stupid. If there are more fearful, stupid people voting than not, Trump is going to win again. That's how our democracy works.
    Turnout, turnout, turnout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    It's kinda hard to fight a combination of fear and stupid. The best things the dems can do is stay informed about these websites and out them. Other than that, have some emotion, but don't let your emotions make you stupid. If there are more fearful, stupid people voting than not, Trump is going to win again. That's how our democracy works.
    Yup.
    I suggest that a saturation campaign of blatantly fake internet pages/sites/accounts/bots/whatever FB et al will permit, would help smarten 'em up, and perhaps allow more of that fear to be directed toward internet political pieces in general, not just ones against "democrat socialism" and other demons of Republican creation.

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