A Facebook and Twitter campaign for a “Dry Alabama,” that gained traction during the Alabama Senate race last year, appeared to have been run by religious supporters of then-candidate Roy Moore.
But, according to a new New York Times report, it was created and maintained by Democrats and other progressive activists who hoped tying Moore to efforts to invoke an alcohol ban across the state would hurt his standing with moderate Republicans.
It’s the second such example that the Times has uncovered in recent weeks that reveals deceptive tactics were used on social media to hurt Moore, who had also been accused at the time of molesting teenage girls when he was in his thirties and whose previous conduct as a judge had been called into question.
One of the creators of the “Dry Alabama” project, Matt Osborne, told the Times that he hopes one day the use of fake social media accounts in politics will be forbidden, but until then, Democrats have to keep up with Republicans who, he believes, are employing the same tactics.
“If you don’t do it, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back,” Osborne told the Times. “You have a moral imperative to do this — to do whatever it takes.”
Moore was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones, who became the first Democrat to represent the state in the Senate in a quarter century.