Mikey Dickerson of American Engagement Technologies (AET) reportedly headed up a team of secret Democratic operatives, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned, whose job it was to pretend to be "disgruntled conservatives" encouraging other conservatives to stay home and not vote.
The scheme was apparently funded by left-wing billionaire Reid Hoffman, who had previously been exposed for running a similar "false flag" effort in 2017 that ultimately derailed Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore's bid for office.
According to The Daily Caller, Dickerson purchased ads for two separate Facebook pages he created, "The Daily Real" and "Today's Nation," that appeared to be published by frustrated conservatives urging other conservatives to get back at the Republican Party by voting blue or third party in the midterms, or just staying home.
In order to make them appear legitimate, Dickerson had the two pages carefully adorned in American flag imagery so that they came across as more patriotic. The various articles published there were also designed to manipulate the enthusiasm of conservative voters in order to throw the election to Democrats.
One of the sponsored articles on "The Daily Real" deceitfully stated that the expected "blue wave" was "unreliable," for instance, the aim of this lie being to downplay the importance of the election in order to discourage conservatives from participating in it.
"Everyone else hearing more recent stories that the Blue Wave is a myth, and the Republicans are going to win and upset mainstream pollsters once again?" the ad stated, followed by a link to an article entitled, "Consider the Source: Polls Predicting a 'Blue Wave' are Unreliable."
In another fake ad on "Today's Nation," the question was asked, "Are congressional Republicans facing the consequences of betraying real conservatives?" followed by a link to an article entitled, "So-called conservatives aren't even trying to hide their betrayal of our values."
Yet another of the deceptive postings aimed at "frustrated populist Republicans" tried to plant doubt in the minds of potential voters about President Trump's track record thus far. It stated that it was time to "send a message" to the Republican Party because "Trump is failing us."
"AET's operations in the 2018 midterm elections show that the Hoffman-funded group went further than previously known in attempting to mislead American voters for the purpose of swinging an election," writes The Daily Caller reporter Peter Hasson.
"The misleading ads collectively garnered millions of impressions on Facebook, The DCNF's review of Facebook's archives found."
There were many more ads as well, including some that tried to convince conservatives that there were "no good choices" in the 2018 midterms, and that "the best option" was to vote for Democrats. Another went so far to claim that "none of this even matters," accusing both sides of the aisle of "shouting so much" that it wasn't even worth voting.
Another Hoffman-funded group known as "News for Democracy" reportedly created its own fake news page on Facebook as well, entitled "Our Flag Our Country," that pushed similar anti-Trump sentiments.
Facebook is said to be currently investigating whether or not News for Democracy violated the site's rules against publishing "misleading political advertising," as revealed in a report published by The Washington Post.
According to The Daily Caller, neither Dickerson nor Hoffman responded to requests for comments about the scandal.
For more related news, be sure to check out Faked.news.
Sources for this article include: