After online run ins with so-called “Bernie Bros,” a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC has vowed to take on “swarms of anonymous attackers” on the internet, who are allegedly spreading false information about the candidate. The group, Correct the Record, said it will funnel $1 million, or 20% of the money it has raised so far, into refuting ”negative attacks and false narratives” about Clinton on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram, according to a press release.
The organization said it already set the record straight with more than 5,000 people on Twitter.
Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Clinton’s allies have accused male supporters of opponent Bernie Sanders of intimidating the former Secretary of State’s supporters online. Clinton’s husband, former US president Bill Clinton, called out these “Bernie Bros” for harassing women, in particular, during a February campaign stop.
“People who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat,” he said, as reported by the New York Times.
Correct the Record hopes that silencing even some of these haters online will encourage Clinton’s supporters to be more vocal.
The effort will continue through the remainder of the primaries and into the general election, if Clinton wins the nomination. Clinton allies then may be faced a new breed of internet trolls who back Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, or whoever lands the GOP nomination.
Devoting dollars and manpower to correcting inane internet remarks may seem as futile as counting the grains of sand on a beach. But some strategists think fighting fire with facts online could make a difference in this unconventional election cycle, in which social media has awoken the masses.
“There’s no doubt that Senator Sanders’ supporters are very active on social media, so giving Clinton supporters positive content can help increase the social buzz surrounding her campaign,” said Aaron Golds, senior digital strategist at the public-affairs agency SKDKnickerbocker.
The effectiveness of the strategy, he added, remains to be seen.