Recently, the New York Times dropped a bombshell about a cybersecurity company harming Roy Moore’s failed bid for Alabama Senate by using dirty social media tactics against him. Now, Fox News has reminded everyone that the same company appears to be one that created a report about Russian social media influence in President Trump’s election that was cited last month by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In other words, it looks like the same company that accused Russia of using dirty tricks to help Trump win may have used the same sorts of tricks to help Moore lose.
The original Times story outlines how the cybersecurity firm, New Knowledge, used a variety of tactics against Moore during his race against now-Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama in an extremely heated contest that involved sexual assault allegations made against Moore.
Those tactics included linking Moore’s campaign to thousands of Russian Twitter accounts, creating Facebook pages with fake Alabama conservatives bashing Moore, and encouraging conservatives to write in a candidate instead of voting for Moore.
Jonathon Morgan, the CEO of New Knowledge, admits to doing all that but says it was just an experiment and not intended to hurt Moore’s chances of winning. Moore lost to Jones by around only 22,000 votes.
But according to Fox News, an internal report suggests otherwise. People involved with the project said it helped suppress Republican votes.
The Times also mentioned that the secret project was also run by American Engagement Technologies. Fox noted that that firm is operated by former President Obama official Mikey Dickerson.
Moore’s opponent Jones said he’s “outraged” after hearing about all of this, saying, “I'd like to see the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department look at this to see if there were any laws being violated and, if there were, prosecute those responsible. These authorities need to use this example right now to start setting the course for the future to let people know that this is not acceptable in the United States of America.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is looking into it, too, according to Fox News.
“The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there,” he said. “We’re planning to explore the issue further.”
Even though the Times seemed to downplay any impact New Knowledge’s tampering may have done to the Alabama Senate race, the Washington Post called it “worrying” and likened it to a death spiral in America’s ability to have fair and honest elections.
And this is all coming out after New Knowledge presented claims of a massive disinformation campaign by Russians in Trump’s election. Democrats like Virginia Sen. Mark Warner blasted the alleged widespread interference by Russia at the time as “an attempt to undermine and manipulate our democracy.”