Hillary Clinton has not exactly been the most popular candidate among millennials; she consistently loses the 18-29 demographic to Bernie Sanders by about 80 to 20 percent, a phenomenon similar to when she ran against Barack Obama in 2008.
This may be because a majority of millennials receive their information online rather than filtered through the biases of mainstream media. It’s evident that Sanders enjoys a huge amount of support on the internet, and since Clinton has not been able to drum up enough support on her own, one of her Super PACs has stepped in to do the job for her.
Correct the Record, a Super PAC founded by Clinton surrogate David Brock, has decided to invest more than $1 million into fake social media accounts that support Hillary Clinton on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.
These accounts will be used for multiple purposes: fighting Sanders supporters, perpetuating the “Bernie Bro” narrative, and ultimately attempting to convert Sanders voters into Clinton supporters.
Correct the Record put out a statement regarding the initiative, claiming, “Lessons learned from online engagement with ‘Bernie Bros’ during the Democratic Primary will be applied to the rest of the primary season and general election–responding quickly and forcefully to negative attacks and false narratives.”
“Additionally, as the general election approaches, the task force will begin to push out information to Sanders supporters online, encouraging them to support Hillary Clinton.”
Let’s address these claims one at a time. To begin, Correct the Record is a major entity behind propagating the idea of “Bernie Bros,” an endeavor to portray all Sanders supporters as sexist, young white men.
As the Intercept details, “The goal is to inherently delegitimize all critics of Hillary Clinton by accusing them of, or at least associating them with, sexism, thus distracting attention away from Clinton’s policy views, funding, and political history.”
In addition these “negative attacks” and “false narratives” Sanders supporters discuss are neither negative nor false—they are simply facts about Clinton’s record, which, again, groups such as Correct the Record attempt to delegitimize through accusations of sexism.
This strategy of generating false online support is known as astroturfing, and it is not the first time the Clinton camp has used such tactics. In 2008, “The popular and influential Blue Hampshire blog on progressive New Hampshire politics recently busted a group of [Clinton] campaign staffers for registering anonymously on site and boosting pro-Hillary Clinton diaries on the group blog,” according to Wired.
The Clinton campaign was also responsible for propagating the narrative of the sexist “Obama Boys”—a term not-so-coincidentally reminiscent of “Bernie Bros.”
If the endgame of this strategy is to “encourage [Sanders supporters] to support Hillary Clinton,” as Correct the Record declares, the Super Pac has failed miserably.
Using manipulative, dirty tactics supported by big money is precisely what Sanders supporters are fighting against and why they dislike Clinton so deeply.
Attacking Sanders supporters on social media platforms with an invisible army of bought shills is not the direction that the Clinton camp should be taking if they hope to ever woo these voters over to her side.
Banner Image Credit: Reuters