Politico.com’s Natash Korecki recently disclosed a large, coordinated effort, perhaps by Russians (this is uncertain at the moment), to amplify one legitimate online political comment into thousands, as though all were by different individuals. The pretend thousands of separate opinions are spread through social and print media, all being directed at Democratic Party presidential candidates. They are nasty criticisms that contain false accusations and phony representations of past behavior, beliefs, or statements. The effort is to stimulate hatred and enmity among Democrats, leading to a fractured, damaged party effort to unseat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. This is an even more sophisticated attempt to influence our elections than those in the past.

I appeal to all those who intend to vote in the Democratic Party primary elections, avoid participating in online discussion, debate, or comment on Democratic Party presidential candidates. If you do, you will help stimulate these manufactured opinions and enhance this foreign or right-wing domestic attempt to “divide and conquer.” Confine your relevant questions, discussions, or opinions to those in your presence, to your U.S. mail correspondents, or to telephone conversations.

I understand the desire to speak your mind in online media. I am not shy about this myself. But I would hope to defeat or diminish this clever but very harmful strategy.


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