Democrats trying to defeat Roy Moore created fake online campaign: report

Democrats in Alabama created a deceptive online campaign in 2017 meant to help defeat Republican Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore says he's 'seriously considering' 2020 Senate bid Doug Jones: Trump unintentionally giving 'green light' to hate crimes GOP candidate welcomes Roy Moore to enter Alabama Senate primary MORE in a special election, The New York Times reported Monday. 

The "Dry Alabama" campaign reportedly featured a Facebook page and a Twitter account suggesting that Moore supported a statewide ban on alcohol.

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The campaign is the second revelation of a disinformation campaign used by Democrats in the special election, according to the Times. The newspaper reported last month that New Knowledge, a cybersecurity research firm, used social media posts to spread disinformation in the race.

Both campaigns were reportedly modeled after the disinformation campaign carried out by Russia on social media ahead of the 2016 presidential election, a campaign that aimed to help then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: 'White supremacists pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group' National Enquirer paid 0,000 for Bezos texts: report Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE defeat Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all O'Rourke faces sharp backlash from left Dem strategist says South Carolina will be first 'real test' for O'Rourke MORE.

Each of the disinformation campaigns in Alabama received $100,000 from Investing in Us, a group that supports progressive political causes, according to the Times.

Matt Osborne, a progressive activist who worked on the "Dry Alabama" campaign, told the newspaper that Democrats had no choice but to use disinformation if they wanted to level the playing field with Republicans.

“If you don’t do it, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back,” Osborne said. “You have a moral imperative to do this — to do whatever it takes.”

Moore lost the special election to Democrat Doug Jones, who is serving the remainder of the term that ends in 2021. The special election was triggered after former Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsJuan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump House Judiciary Dem, Republican clash over details of Whitaker testimony MORE (R-Ala.) left his post to serve as attorney general.

Jones last month condemned the first disinformation campaign that was revealed by the Times and called for an investigation.