According to the Washington Post, This week a group of Democratic tech experts used Russian style misleading tactics during Alabama special election 2017 because they wanted to dismantle the support for Republican candidate Roy Moore. Therefore, Facebook has suspended the accounts of Five people involved in this project.
The company has shut down the account of Jonathon Morgan who is the Chief executive of a top social media research firm. After Facebook received reports that he got engaged in spreading false information about the Alabama elections, Morgan also confirmed its Facebook account suspension.
“We take a strong stand against people or organizations that create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing,” Facebook said. “We’ve removed thousands of Pages, Groups and accounts for this kind of behavior, as well as accounts that were violating our policies on spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior during the Alabama special election last year.”
As per the New York Times report, the Alabama project participants started a facebook page where they portray as they are conservative Alabama voters. Also, they encouraged other other followers to cast write-in votes and bought retweets on Twitter to amplify their message.
According to a Times report, “orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.” TheTimesnotes that the project was “likely too small to have a significant effect on the race.”
Whereas Morgan said that they were trying to understand how online campaigns and disinformation works. He justified the whole process of by saying these tactics used by the foreign operatives can be easily reproduced here in the US and called Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department to “look at this to see if there were any laws being violated and, if there were, prosecute those responsible.”
One thing to be mentioned here, the tactics used in this project was similar to those used by Russia, who wanted to disperse divisions between Democratic voters in an effort to swing the election to then-Candidate Donald Trump.