A new anti-Trump effort is being put in place that uses technology originally developed to battle the Islamic State to fight a social media war against President Donald Trump.
As outlined by The Washington Post, a political action committee fighting the president is being supported by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who formerly led U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The group, which calls itself Defeat Disinfo, uses technology originally developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
As explained by The Post, “artificial intelligence and network analysis” will “map discussion of the president’s claims on social media.”
The information warriors then will begin promoting what newspaper called “the most popular counter-narratives.”
To make sure anti-Trump information gets out, the group will use what The Post described as a “network of 3.4 million influencers across the country,” some of whom will be paid to trash the president.
“It’s often said campaigns are a battle of ideas, but they’re really a battle of narratives,” David Eichenbaum, a Democratic media consultant who advises Defeat Disinfo, told The Post. “Today those narratives spread quickly online.”
Curtis Hougland, the lead foot soldier of the effort, said Democrats are starting from a disadvantage.
Republicans, he said, “have greater volume frequency and quality of digital narrative.”
Paying voices to attack Trump is just a tactic, he said.
“I have no trepidation about paying content creators in seeking out and amplifying the best narratives,” Hougland said.
He said the effort will build the “largest repository of content against Trump.”
Hougland kicked off his effort with a public announcement on Friday.
“President Donald Trump is the largest amplifier of disinformation in the United States. People are dying as a result of his political agenda. Trump’s expressions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate how a few words from the President result in real world damage, again and again. Defeat Disinfo will protect the American people by coordinating emotional, topical, visual, and personal narratives in response to the president’s disinformation through election day,” he said in a news release.
McChrystal claimed he was not out to tip the election in favor of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden but wanted to provide accurate information, regardless of what methods need to be employed.
“Everyone wishes the Pandora’s box was closed and none of this existed, but it does,” McChrystal told The Post.
Main Street One, the company Hougland operates, has dabbled in politics before.
The company paid influencers to post social media content in support of Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during his successful campaign last year.
It also was hired to do similar work for a super PAC supporting the failed presidential campaign of Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.