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 MooreMontgomery, Ala., elects first African American mayor GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war Sen. Doug Jones launches reelection bid in Alabama 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE defeat Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonVideo of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Ronan Farrow exposes how the media protect the powerful Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' 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 SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy 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.