A Political Action Committee (PAC) in support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Correct the Record has hired a “task force” comprised essentially of what many people would call online trolls. The PAC is spending more than $1 million to pay for this task force – part of an initiative they call Barrier Breakers 2016 – whose job is to “correct” online critics who make negative comments about Hillary Clinton.
According to their press release, Correct the Record boasts that they’ve already been able to “correct” over 5,000 Hillary Clinton critics on Twitter. From their press release:
Anonymous online attacks, from both sides of the political spectrum, have sought to spread lies and misleading narratives about Secretary Hillary Clinton. Hillary’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, yet oftentimes are discouraged from engaging online and are “often afraid to voice their thoughts” because of the fear of online harassment. Many of Hillary Clinton’s female supporters in particular have been subject to intense cyber-bullying and sexist attacks from swarms of anonymous attackers.
Among the many Hillary Clinton supporters attacked online, superdelegates have been subject to vicious attacks for supporting her.
What these Hillary Clinton supporters claim to be experiencing with “cyber-bullying” and “anonymous online attacks” is hardly unique. Who hasn’t been “bullied” online before? Just scroll to the comments section of any YouTube video or news article, and every other comment is some kind of attack or threat against another commenter. People say things online all the time in the comfort of their anonymity that they wouldn’t dare say in person.
Correct the Record has an uphill battle to fight if their goal is to convert people – particularly Bernie Sanders supporters – over to Hillary Clinton, especially if they’re going to be using social media as a platform for debate. Social media “debates” usually descend into mayhem quickly, ending with both sides more adamant in their own positions than they were before.