by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic operatives funded by left-wing tech billionaire Reid Hoffman ran a widespread campaign using misleading Facebook pages in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, The Daily Caller News Foundation has found.
American Engagement Technologies (AET), which was founded by former Obama administration official Mikey Dickerson, bought ads for two Facebook pages, “The Daily Real” and “Today’s Nation,” encouraging Republican voters to stay home in the midterm elections, Facebook’s ad archives show.
Both pages appear to be designed to give the impression that they were operated by frustrated conservatives rather than by Democratic operatives.
The American flag-adorned pages encouraged conservative voters to either stay home in November or vote for Democrats to punish Republicans for being insufficiently conservative. Other ads called polls predicting a “blue wave” in the 2018 elections “unreliable” and downplayed the election’s importance.
The misleading ads collectively garnered millions of impressions on Facebook, TheDCNF’s review of Facebook’s archives found.
Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and an early investor in Facebook, previously acknowledged funding AET after both he and the group came under fire for running a self-described “false flag” campaign during the 2017 Alabama special election. That misinformation campaign was intended to falsely link Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore to Russian influence operations.