The task force for Clinton aim to oppose Bernie's grassroots.

Task Force For HRC Spends A Million Bucks To Counter Grassroots Attacks, Accused Of ‘Astro-Turfing’

Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, declared on its website that it is putting over one-million dollars into pushing back against what it calls “online harassment” of its preferred candidate and her supporters. The task force that the PAC has created, coined “Barrier Breakers 2016,” will also network online to thank superdelegates for supporting Hillary Clinton on social media sites.

“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,” Correct The Record stated, explaining why they are paying big bucks to create an online presence to help Clinton supporters feel more comfortable speaking out on social media. “In response to these attacks on supporters and superdelegates, Correct The Record is launching the Barrier Breakers 2016 digital task force.”

Correct The Record, according to America News, was created in 2015, “as a spin-off from another super PAC, American Bridge, which is run by David Brock, a longtime ally of the Clintons.” Correct the Record stated on its website that the launch of Barrier Breakers 2016 as a “digital task force” is in response to Clinton’s vocal, online-objectors. Correct the Record’s website explains that greater than one-million dollars will be spent on Barrier Breakers 2016’s activities. Barrier Breakers 2016’s agenda will include tripling the online operation on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others, the PAC stated.

“Correct The Record will invest more than $1 million into Barrier Breakers 2016 activities, including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.”

Barrier Breakers 2016 will incorporate, according to Correct the Record, lessons the Clinton backers learned from online engagement “with ‘Bernie Bros’ during the Democratic Primary.” These lessons, the super PAC claims, will be applied for the remaining duration of the primary season and through the general election should Clinton win the Democratic nomination.

Barrier Breakers 2016 will provide an online presence as well as online social media support tools like graphics and videos. They will even supply task force members and HRC supporters with messaging they can use during their own online social activity. Additionally, the task force will begin publicly thanking delegates who have pledged their support to Mrs. Clinton, in much the same way that Sanders’ grass roots supporters have been doing for months, without a task force.

The Clinton PAC has even created a webpage that has buttons that automatically bring up a tweet window to all of Clinton’s superdelegates. Thank a Delegate, the webpage dedicated to tweeting out nearly-automatic thank you messages, even has the text of the tweets ready to go for Clinton supporters and members of the new online networking team, but Clinton supporters can still edit those tweets to personalize them using this platform if they wish.

Correct the Record, according to America News, is able to openly coordinate with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign through loopholes, according to Libby Watson of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to transparency.

Paste Magazine claims that Correct the Record uses a tactic called “astro-turfing,” but Correct the Record says that the Barrier Breakers 2016 digital task force will serve as a resource to push back online against the likes of overaggressive Sanders supporters and Trump supporters. The practice of astro-turfing is described by former investigative correspondent for CBS News Sharyl Attkisson as the practice of trying to trick viewers and readers into believing that there is legitimate grassroots activity, when there is not.

Do you think spending a million dollars to counter any aggressive grassroots social media presence is actually astro-turfing, or is it just standard marketing during an election? Perhaps more importantly, do you think that a paid social media task force will be productive against the current grassroots campaigning that the Sanders and Trump crowds are willing to do pro bono?

[Image via Pixabay]

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