“I categorically disavow the use of misinformation to sway an election,” said Mr. Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent figure at the intersection of Silicon Valley and Democratic politics. He said he had financed “organizations trying to re-establish civic, truth-focused discourse” and was “embarrassed” to learn his money had been spent on disinformation.
“We cannot permit dishonest campaign tactics to go unchecked in our democracy — no matter which side they purportedly help,” Mr. Hoffman said in his statement.LinkedIn Co-Founder Apologizes for Deception in Alabama Senate Race
New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabam
Last week the New York Times revealed that money from tech billionaire Reid Hoffman was used to run a small disinformation “experiment” aimed at helping Democrat Doug Jones win last year’s Alabama special Senate election. That resulted in Facebook suspending five accounts and Hoffman issuing an apology.
But left unmentioned in the Times story was that one of its authors learned about the Alabama campaign when he spoke at an off-the-record meeting organized by the same group who ran the operation. A copy of a confidential report about the Alabama effort, obtained by BuzzFeed News, raises new questions about whether the project was — as the Times said — an “experiment,” or whether it was a straightforward Democratic attempt to replicate the model of the Russian Internet Research Agency...
During the meeting, Dickerson and Sara Hudson, a former Justice Department employee who now works for a company partly funded by Hoffman, detailed the results of their attempt to use social media and online ads to suppress Republican votes, “enrage” Democratic voters to help with turnout, and execute a “false flag” to hurt the campaign of Republican Roy Moore.
The report provided to Shane and others at the meeting boasts of the campaign’s effectiveness and positions itself as a serious effort to influence 650,000 Alabama voters. It does not use the word “experiment” to describe the effort.
Morgan subsequently had his Facebook account suspended by Facebook due to his involvement in the campaign. (He did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.)