by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The liberal billionaire who allegedly backed a misinformation campaign during the midterm elections played a significant role in funding a group responsible for creating a controversial fake news project.
Reid Hoffman greatly increased his financial contributions to artificial intelligence research group OpenAI, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. The group recently developed software allowing people with the know-how to craft so-called “deepfake” news articles, The Guardian reported. …
… News of Hoffman’s role in the project comes at a strange time for both OpenAI and the tech guru. The wealthy Democratic donor became embroiled in controversy after The New York Times and other outlets reported in December 2018 and January about his role in a false flag operation in Alabama. Hoffman, for his part, apologized for his role in the effort to troll voters.
Hoffman-financed groups — New Knowledge (NK) and American Engagement Technologies (AET) — allegedly used social media in 2017 to undermine support for Republican Roy Moore’s senatorial campaign and boosted his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, who narrowly won the race. Jones has since publicly called for an investigation into the caper.
Operatives involved in the ploy created thousands of Twitter accounts posing as Russian bots in order to boost Jones. There is evidence the campaign caused a splash. Major media outlets — both in Alabama and nationally — fell for the gambit and amplified the false narrative in October 2017.